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The business of podcasting

All We Know About Netflix's Ad Plans So Far & 9 Other Stories


This week: We learned something interesting about Netflix, Cross-promotions work but you might be doing them wrong, Anchor continues to be the top podcast host by episode share, and the FTC sues a data broker.


All we know about Netflix’s ad plans so far

Shreya: Once again we bring you an article that doesn’t feature the world “podcast”, but could have big implications for the industry. Last Friday Kelsey Sutton published a brief roundup of all the news about Netflix that had dropped during the week. The world learned about polarizing new ad-supported tier, charging between $7 to $9 a month. We also learned they’re targeting 15 and 30 second spots for preroll and midroll ads. 

“The flurry of reports helps provide a better picture of how Netflix is strategizing the rollout of its ad-supported tier after eschewing Madison Avenue for years. There are still many unknowns, including what kind of metrics the service will provide to measure ad effectiveness. Even without all the details, media buyers are buzzing with anticipation.” 

Podcasters and advertising folk alike should take note of how much Netflix is paying per thousand impressions. According to Sutton the streamer is paying $65 CPM, with expectations of that going up to $80 in future. 

With those rates in mind for the biggest streaming platform, average podcast CPM is fair to underpriced in comparison. 


Do Cross-Promos Work? Hell Yes, But You Are Likely Doing Them Wrong…And We Can Fix That

Manuela: On Monday Eric Nuzum published an issue of The Audio Insurgent that aims to introduce podcasters to a vital lesson learned while conducting research for terrestrial radio nearly two decades ago. 

Nuzum is of the opinion that on-air and in-episode content promotion is frequently misunderstood and often poorly executed. This and the next two issues of Audio Insurgent are dedicated to covering the three Rs of program promotion: Reduction, Repetition, and Real Content. 

In 2004 Nuzum conducted a study for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting titled ON-air Program Promotions Insight Study, a study of cross-promotion in the radio industry so helpful he continued to get messages asking where to find the study long after the original webpage hosting it had decayed. 

For this newsletter series he has done some light editing and uploaded the entirety of the 18 year-old study to Google Drive for preservation. 

“Yet despite its age, it can still be very effective and useful to all audio professionals today. But the whole project boils down to one simple sentence: A well-constructed message, delivered to the right listeners often enough for them to recognize it, can increase listening.”

His issue on Reduction stresses the importance of stripping fat from a promotion and ensuring it isn’t airing in a block of multiple other promotions that could distract from the message. An example given from when the promo study was first conducted is Nuzum playing a promo for A Prairie Home Companion. The promo rapid-fire announced the town, state, college auditorium in said town the performance would take place at. Following that, three musical acts and the name of the famous News from Lake Wobegon segment. 

“Immediately after playing it, I would ask those in the room to name a single artist or location mentioned in that promo. On a rare occasion, someone could remember “Iowa”--but most times, no one could remember anything. And these people were (supposedly) paying attention.”


Top Podcast Hosting Companies by Episode Share (August 2022)

Shreya: Last Thursday Livewire Labs updated their substantial snapshot of the industry via episode share.

    “One of the ways to measure the health of the current podcast ecosystem is to measure the number of new episodes published in a given period. We look at every single new podcast episode published (about 1.6 million in August 2022, up 5.4% from last month) and identify which podcast hosting company it belongs to.”

One of the first things that jumps out about both the list of hosting companies by new episode share and the ranking of hosts by new episodes published in August is the gulf between first and second place. In a ranked list of 234 podcast hosting services Anchor dominates first place at 22.9% of new episodes published. Buzzsprout showed gains in solidifying a strong second place at 9%. 

Livewire’s data pairs nicely with the Podnews podcast hosting change tracker, which observes RSS feed hosting changes across the system’s sample size of over 73,000 podcasts. Over the past week 211 podcasts changed from one hosting service to another, 26 which moved from various other services to Anchor. Pundits are fond of depicting Anchor as a dumping ground for single episode or dead podcasts due to their free tier, but they clearly are attracting a lot of new creators. 


A sociologist on what advertisers should know when they use health data

And: 

FTC picks fight with data broker

Manuela: Over the past week Ryan Barwick of Marketing Brew has published two closely-related articles covering the use of data collected in a healthcare environment for advertising. 

First, yesterday’s article features an interview with Mary F. E. Ebeling, an associate professor of sociology at Drexel University and recently-published author of a book on the effects of collected data on individuals’ lives. Ebeling provides an anecdote of how a child she lost to miscarriage in the real world continued to live a false life through parenting-related marketing emails. 

“Though it’s near impossible to audit a digital ad—how, why, or where it was served—Ebeling connects the experience to her research in the healthcare industry, where patients rarely know they’re feeding “massive databases maintained by healthcare providers and public and private insurers, or payers—often called data ‘lakes’ and ‘oceans.’”

With Ebeling’s account in mind, we look back to last Friday when Barwick covered a much-publicized lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission. 

“On Monday, the agency brought a lawsuit against Kochava, a data broker, for allegedly collecting and selling location data “that can be used to trace the movements of individuals to and from sensitive locations” like reproductive-health clinics and places of worship.”” 

The suit comes several weeks after a preemptive lawsuit from Kochava towards the FTC. Barwick details the two businesses within Kochava in its data marketplace and measurement service. Kochava argues the user is forewarned when they initially agree to share their location data with the third-party apps they purchase the data from. The FTC, clearly, disagrees. 

    “By the end of the week, many were wondering: Why Kochava? And though we don’t know the answer yet, the FTC’s lawsuit could put the entire location data collection industry under the microscope.”


Quick Hits: Recommended Weekend Reading

Shreya: Finally, it’s time for our semi-regular roundup of articles we’re calling Quick Hits. These are articles that didn’t quite make the cut for today’s episode, but are still worth including in your weekend reading. This week: 

The Ambies, the flagship award program of The Podcast Academy, designed to celebrate excellence in podcasting in the same way the MPA celebrates film with the Oscars, is now taking nominations. In addition, they've also announced a membership program sponsored by Spotify to enable independent creators to submit. 

WQXR hires a podcasting chief by Laura Holt. Music remains one of the most untapped categories in podcasting. WQXR is a great example of a station that produces its own content and has access to a number of resources for original content, which is the key to making music podcasting work in a world where licensing music under copyright is still financially not viable in podcasting.

Apple is staffing up its ad business by Ryan Barwick. This might not be breaking news for dedicated audience members of The Download, but it is crystal clear confirmation that apple is fully embracing its advertising business. 

The BBC Shares podcast stats by Podnews. A recent talk at Radiodays Asia in Malaysia featured rare info about the BBC’s daily download data, the show in question’s audience profile, and comparison to other podcasts. 

Finally, in accordance with The Download’s love of sharing news of podcasting’s performance on a global scale: Otonal has published Podcast Report of Japan, a survey of podcast usage in Japan in 2021. 


The Download is a production of Sounds Profitable. Today's episode was hosted by Shreya Sharma and Manuela Bedoya, and the script was written by Gavin Gaddis.

Bryan Barletta and Tom Webster are the executive producers of The Download from Sounds Profitable.

 

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