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Podcast Listeners Likely Skip Radio Ads & 2 Other Stories
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Podcast Listeners Likely Skip Radio Ads & 2 Other Stories

The Download

Season 3 • Episode 113

The Fully-Produced Podcast Ad: Are we leaving attention on the table?

New research from Pacific Content and Signal Hill Insights suggests repurposing ads created for AM/FM radio for podcasting has some downsides. A quote from Head of Pacific Content Matt Mise in the blog posted this Thursday:

“As more brands enter the podcast ad market and take advantage of the reach potential through programmatic (or network) buys, we’ve seen (and heard) an increase in repurposing audio ads from radio or streaming music. While this is certainly cost-effective, it may not be audience-effective. Radio ads are designed to grab attention from distracted audiences. Podcast listeners are already deeply engaged. They don’t need to be shouted at– you already have their attention. These two different mediums require two different creative approaches. We felt so certain about this, we decided to put our hypothesis to the test.”

The study surveyed 247 Canadians 18+ who listen to podcasts at least once a month. Even with a relatively small sample size, the strength of respondent’s answers indicate adamant feelings about podcast ads. 49% of respondents strongly agreed they would skip a radio-style ad if it appeared in their favorite podcast, with a further 29% moderately agreeing.

Mise cites the Sounds Profitable and Signal Hill Insights study The Medium Moves the Message, which found podcasting already reaches nearly as many listeners aged 18-34 as radio and TV. Podcast listeners skew younger than traditional broadcast entertainment and have grown up with plenty of choice in their media. If ads are to avoid the thirty second skip button, they have to take the more relaxed, intimate nature of podcasting into account and build ad creative specifically for podcasts. As the Pacific Content blog asks: would you run a broadcast TV spot on TikTok unchanged?

Spotify Q2 Earnings Call

Spotify’s Q2 earnings call was this week and the streamer has hit some high notes. From The Verge’s coverage overage from Jon Porter on Monday:

“Spotify had 220 million Premium subscribers and 551 million monthly active users as of June 30th, the company announced today in its latest earnings report. That represents a 27 and 17 percent increase, respectively, compared to the same period last year and is above its outlook released last quarter.”

In addition to the premium subscriber increase, Hot Pod reports Spotify’s podcast ad revenue is up 30% from last year. According to the latest Share of Ear report for Q1 2023 shows Spotify dipped from 21.6% share-of-ear for spoken word content to 20.2%. As Tyler Aquilina highlights in coverage for Variety, podcasting overall continues to trend upward. That said, it’s possible Spotify has reached a share-of-ear plateau.

All of which seems to further reinforce Spotify’s decision to pivot from acquiring big-name personalities to host exclusive Spotify content, reframing their focus more on being an advertising destination and maintaining already-successful podcasts they currently own.

Your favorite TV rewatch podcast is here to stay – but don’t expect any new ones.

New from Amrita Khalid on The Verge and Hot Pod: the growing trend of TV rewatch podcasts hosted by actors who appeared on the shows has caused confusion and delays while waiting for union leadership in regards to the SAG-AFTRA strike. As reported on the 21st, several celebrity-hosted rewatch podcasts either withheld episodes or changed their content so as not to promote struck content. A key issue raised by both the original WGA strike and SAG actors joining in solidarity is that of compensation for old content on streaming platforms, meaning even shows like Drama Queens, which discusses the long-concluded One Tree Hill, are technically promoting struck content.

In the case of Drama Queens, the hosts switched from discussing the series to answering audience questions. Both an upcoming Emily Deschanel-hosted Bones rewatch podcast and a new show covering Full House hosted by lead Dave Coulier delayed their first episodes due to the strike. On Wednesday SAG leadership clarified its position. A quote from Sue-Anne Morrow, SAG-AFTRA’s national director of contract initiatives and podcasts:

“Rewatch Podcasts are considered promotional. Hosts should honor any pre-existing contracts but, if a contract is not involved, they should not promote struck work, past or current. Guests appearing on podcasts should not promote struck work under any circumstances,”

The delayed Bones and Full House podcasts are now free to upload, but Hot Pod predicts these will be the last rewatch debuts for the duration of the strike.

Quick Hits

While they may not be top story material, the articles below from this week are definitely worth your time:

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Ad Nauseum

Frequency, Repetition, and Consumer Perceptions of Podcast Advertising

How much is too much when it comes to podcast advertising? In Ad Nauseam, Sounds Profitable's latest study, we surveyed 1,000 weekly podcast listeners to find out just where they stand on these expectations. The free half-hour webinar debuting the research will be hosted by Tom Webster on Wednesday, June 12th, at 3:00 p.m. EST.

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