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Apple’s Podcast Advertising Potential, Netflix’s Ad Frequency, UK Podcast Upfront, & More

Apple’s Podcast Advertising Potential, Netflix’s Ad Frequency, UK Podcast Upfront, & More

October 23, 2023

Today in the Business of Podcasting

Apple considers selling more podcast ads by Ashley Carman

The tradition of Apple not selling ads on Apple-produced podcasts might be changing. According to anonymous sources familiar with Apple’s plans, podcasting’s original home is looking into the possibility of selling ads on its own podcasts, including those greenlit through the Apple TV team. The first exploration into ad sales is season two of the Apple News podcast After the Whistle, which will be sponsored entirely by State Farm.

Netflix’s Answer To Subscriber Churn? Fewer Ads by Alyssa Boyle

Back in January Alyssa Boyle tested ad-enabled Netflix with a brand new account. At the time she received an average of four minutes of ads per hour of content. Nine months later that same account, which had been getting a consistent email campaign to entice lapsed users back to Netflix, has been re-activated. Now Boyle reports an average of 15 to 30 seconds of ads per hour of content after watching several hours of content spread across thirty-minute animation, an hour-long docuseries, and 45 minute episodes of Netflix’s Is It Cake? In some cases, less is more with advertising. Discovery Warner Bros. makes a point of limiting how much ad space is available on currently-running exclusive shows to make what little ad space is available all the more valuable. Sometimes, fewer ads creates a better product, which attracts more subscribers, generating more revenue in the long run. [Source]

The 25-year-old media planner and the screenshot industrial complex by Brian Morrissey

At a recent gathering of both ad buying and publishing executives, Morrissey found one of the hot topics was the problem of keyword blocklists keeping advertising off news. Which then creates a worrying incentive for publishers to avoid covering social issues that might be on said lists. Blame is levied at the mythical  25-year-old media planner trope: An employee who checks a keyword filter box in the DSP dashboard for safety’s sake because they’re terrified of the infamous Screenshot. An image of the company’s ad running on a particularly rough news article. Morrissey challenges the idea that ads run on brand-unsafe news content genuinely cause offended screenshots in any significant quantity. He instead proposes most examples of The Screenshot are generated by companies who actively trawl the internet looking for ads displayed in weird places, not legitimately offended readers. [Source]

How major podcast players are moving ‘beyond’ audio formats by Ella Sagar

A recap of the IAB UK Podcast Upfronts that took place in London last Thursday. The future of video podcasting and YouTube’s presence in the industry was a big talking point, as well as both podcasts being adapted into video formats and podcasting as a supplementary medium in the form of watch-along and companion shows. Podcasting’s authenticity and capability for reaching younger audiences with material normally presumed to be for older audiences (such as ‘evening news’ content) also came up as recurring themes. It’s worth noting the diversity and amount of topics discussed can be attributed to the fact that, unlike its U.S. counterpart, UK Podcast Upfront tickets did not cost extra and were not limited solely to brands and advertisers. With more accessibility, more producers and talent can join the conversation. [Source]

CTV Ad Targeting Is Getting More Advanced – But Data Quality Is Not by Alyssa Boyle

As covered last week, a recent study by data validation company Truthset found nearly half of the data used for connected TV ad targeting is wrong, based on matches data brokers made between hash emails and postal addresses. Despite CTV’s capabilities of advanced targeting, the sheer amount of data required to target more specific than general demographics is difficult to manage. Several industry members propose the path forward is companies working together to contrast/compare first party data and build healthier data pools for more advanced targeting capabilities. In comparison, podcasting working only with IP data means we’re consistently using the lowest common denominator of data. [Source]

As for the rest of the news… Hot Pod covers several reactions to YouTube’s RSS ingestion solution banning announcer-read ads, Inside Radio covers the newest research from Sounds Profitable and Signal Hill Insights, The Drum covers a panel from Advertising Week in which industry leaders discuss fighting ad fraud, transparency, and AI.

Before we go: loyal Download listeners might remember a few weeks ago we covered the announcement of Good Tape, a new print industry magazine featuring journalism and cultural criticism of podcasting. The first issue is now available for order, and readers of The Download can get 10% off with promo code SP10.