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Sounds Profitable Publishes Brand Safety and Suitability Study Safe and Sound & 7 Other Stories

Sounds Profitable Publishes Brand Safety and Suitability Study Safe and Sound & 7 Other Stories

The Download

Season 3 • Episode 43

This week: Sounds Profitable publishes brand safety and suitability study, Edison publishes top podcast networks by reach, Libsyn unveils November 2022 podcast advertising rates, Spotify unveils its top five podcasts in Wrapped, and GroupM and Magna predict a ‘durable’ ad market next year. 

Sounds Profitable publishes brand safety and suitability study Safe and Sound

Manuela: We begin today’s show with something close to home. Yesterday Sounds Profitable debuted its latest research project, Safe and Sound. The first-ever study of brand safety and suitability from the listener’s perspective.

“Safe and Sound surveyed a representative sample of 1093 podcast listeners to find out what they consider ‘offensive,’ what they are tolerant of, and how they view the brands that support podcast content when it pushes their boundaries.”

The study delivers a wide range of findings, ranging from bombshells like the idea political ads are unpopular with audiences – regardless of political party – to taking the temperature of what audiences consider most offensive. Spoiler alert: people dislike racist language.

That said, it looks like offensive content might not be as toxic to a podcast’s overall image as initially assumed. When asked how they felt about brands that advertise or sponsor a podcast where a guest or host said something offensive or uncomfortable, an average of 30% of respondents said their feelings about the brands had not been changed.

When presented with the situation of a podcast someone regularly enjoys having an uncomfortable or offensive episode, 49% of respondents said they would stop listening to that particular episode but continue listening in general, while 31% said they’d continue listening to the outlier episode regardless.

The data suggests podcast-listening audiences take a more holistic approach to offensive content on podcasts they already have a relationship with. In general, listeners appear to not hold a single out-of-character episode against a podcast they’re familiar with.

Edison Top Podcast Networks

Shreya: This Tuesday Edison Research published the Q3 edition of U.S. Top Podcast Networks, by Reach. Listeners of The Download might remember Spotify took the lead back in Q2, just edging out SiriusXM Media. This last quarter SiriusXM has overtaken Spotify and returned to the top, leaving the top five at SiriusXM Media, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Audioboom, and NPR, with Wondery eyeing the top five from sixth place. From the Edison blog post:

“Within the top ten, the biggest jump in rank goes to Wondery/Audible/Amazon Music, up two rank positions, propelled in part by their acquisitions of major shows like Morbid and My Favorite Murder. Bubbling below the top ten, WarnerMedia gained three levels in rank, now up to 14th.“

Once more SiriusXM takes the top spot, but not without Spotify having broken their streak of having been at the top since Edison first started publishing top network by reach reports.

Libsyn Unveils November 2022 Podcast Advertising Rates

Manuela: Continuing our unplanned theme of discussing data, let’s take a moment to talk about CPM. 

Last Thursday Libsyn published the November edition of their monthly CPM rate roundup from AdvertiseCast.

“The Company releases the figures to empower the podcaster and advertiser communities to readily monitor market pricing and provide greater insight into podcasting advertising as a monetization vehicle. The data is derived from actual sales data across AdvertiseCast’s network of over 3,000 shows, including more than 225 exclusive podcasts.”

Rates are continuing to increase, little by little. Last month the average CPM rate was $24.75 for a sixty-second ad spot, up 78 cents from the October average and a 6% year-over-year increase from November 2021.

The report notes that the lower end of the spectrum contains fiction, television, and news content, averaging in the low twenties. On the high side, however, a familiar face for listeners of The Download. We’ve covered the meteoric rise of Kids & Family podcast content multiple times and its popularity continues into this November. The top four highest-earning categories in November are:

Technology and Health & Fitness, tied for third place at $26. Science at $27. And at the top of the leaderboard, Kids & Family at $28, over three dollars higher than industry average.

Spotify Wrapped is here, including its top podcasts

Shreya: Some of you might have noticed a deluge of vibrant colors and boasting about listening habits last Wednesday, as the annual Spotify Wrapped dropped. Kimeko McCoy, writing for Digiday last Thursday, explains how big this yearly infodump has become:

“It’s an awareness campaign that utilizes user data to serve up users’ favorite songs, albums and podcasts to be shared across social media platforms via the app, engaging more than 120 million users last year, according to Spotify. This year, Spotify has launched its Wrapped presence in Roblox, with the goal of tapping into an even bigger audience.”

What originally started as a year-end recap in 2015 has grown to a marketing event large enough to necessitate a custom presence in one of the most popular online games. Since entering the podcast space, Spotify has also begun publishing a Podcast Wrapped.According to Ariel Shapiro in last week’s issue of Hot Pod, the top five podcasts on Spotify this year are, in descending order:

The Joe Rogan Experience
Call Her Daddy
Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain
Caso 63 (in all languages)
And, finally, Crime Junkie.

This year only two of the top five podcasts aren’t Spotify exclusives, though one of those two is set to become an exclusive early next year. Only the highly successful Crime Junkie breaks through the blockade of podcasts with strong Spotify ties.

Shapiro attributes this to Spotify’s ability to promote in-ecosystem properties like Caso 63 and its English adaptation Case 63, while podcasts that release on multiple platforms have to deal with divided metrics. Anything Goes performs well on Spotify, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to similar performance on Apple Podcasts. While it got third place on Spotify for the year, Shapiro notes Chamberlain didn’t make it into Edison Research’s top fifty most-listened-to podcasts report for Q2. From the newsletter:

“The list, therefore, tells us more about Spotify’s strategy than it does about the overall market.”

GroupM and Magna’s Global Ad Forecasts Predict A Durable Ad Market

Manuela: For our final story today we bring up a bit of good news  n the face of a recession that we’re either already in, or about to enter (depending on who you ask). Hana Yoo, writing for AdExchanger, covered reports from both GroupM and Magna this Monday. 

“Global advertising revenue grew 6.5% in 2022 and is projected to grow 5.9% in 2023, according to GroupM’s global year-end industry growth forecast. Meanwhile, Magna’s December global ad forecast predicts 4.8% growth in 2023 after 6.6% growth in 2022.”

Yoo notes that these projections are lower than earlier forecasts. Revised versions to meet current numbers, such as Magna’s earlier prediction of a 6.3% growth for next year. Still, as Yoo reports GroupM’s official line is they’re looking at 2023 with ‘conservative optimism.’ From the article:

“And Magna is on the same page. Although we’ll likely see “a slight slowdown in advertising revenue growth in an uncertain economic environment,” said Luke Stillman, Magna’s SVP and group director of global market intelligence, growth should reaccelerate during the second half of the year.”

In addition to forecasting overall growth, GroupM also anticipates retail media to grow from 101 billion to 110.7 billion in revenue next year. They also note CTV’s particular resilience during COVID and its upward trends, even while paid TV subscriptions slip.

Forecasts for next year aren’t cloudless skies, but they’re also not trending towards thunderstorms just yet.

Quick Hits

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:

What’s going on in audio advertising? Spotify grows, podcasts go global, and radio is a safe bet, by Shreya Feger for Insider Intelligence. A brief three-point breakdown of insights into the state of audio advertising and predictions for next year.

Rephonic analyzed its podcast database to share opportunities for podcasters on Patreon, from last Thursday’s issue of Inside Podcasting. A brief breakdown of Rephonic’s blog post detailing their findings regarding podcasting on Patreon.

Magellan AI Taps Experian to Improve Attribution by Magellan AI. A brief press release explaining their new partnership with Experian to use the Experian Identity Graph to power Attribution by Magellan AI.