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Christmas Sports Sold Out, YouTube and Co-Measurement, SmartLess’ Big Business, & More

Christmas Sports Sold Out, YouTube and Co-Measurement, SmartLess’ Big Business, & More

December 22, 2023

This Week in the Business of Podcasting

We did it, folks. We made it back around to the time of year when everyone starts saying they won’t be able to do something “until next year” and sharing a hearty chuckle. This is it for The Download until 2024, so for one last time before our break, let’s take a look back at the news.

Track behaviors, trends, and insights: Download Magellan AI’s podcast advertising benchmark report for Q2

Disney nearly sold out Christmas sports ad space in early December.

Last Wednesday from Alyssa Meyers at Marketing Brew: This year, a big holiday has caused a perfect storm for sports advertising. Thanks to Christmas day falling on a Monday, Monday Night Football is the belle of the holiday sports ball, with reportedly more advertisers and categories booked for this year than last. In addition, the five NBA games airing on Christmas had nearly sold out of ad space by the first week of December.

Christmas has traditionally been the advertising domain of basketball, though the NFL is making a concerted showing now that the holiday falls on one of the biggest nights of the week for football. According to Sounds Profitable’s latest research, Sound You Can See, 38% of respondents who consume at least one video podcast in the past month consume sports podcasts.

Something to consider when the direct source has already sold out, but the surrounding content (often hosted by players who will be in those games) is ripe for the picking. And those advertising dollars go to a more leaned-in audience actively engaged with the content, a step up from casual viewers tuning in to watch “the big game.”

Simplecast Announces YouTube Integration

This Thursday from Adam Shepherd at PodPod: Simplecast has announced a new batch of features for their platform, including automated YouTube integration. Podcasters hosting their show on Simplecast will now have access to more robust analytics offerings, the ability to add text to the show notes of every episode at once, and automatically publish audio episodes to YouTube.

The integration works similarly to manually linking one’s RSS feed to YouTube directly, with each new audio episode being transcoded to a video with a static image of the podcast artwork. Simplecast does caution users to follow YouTube’s guidelines for host-endorsed sponsorships and advertisements, as every episode will need to follow those guidelines. Simplecast will also not embed any dynamically-inserted ads into the file that’s sent to YouTube to remain compliant to their policy against any third-party produced ads in podcast episodes.

SmartLess Proved Celeb Podcasts Can Mean Business

Last Thursday from Addie Morfoot at Variety: SmartLess, the podcast starring Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes that kicked off during the early days of the pandemic, has grown into a celebrity podcasting powerhouse. The show signed to Wondery for a reported $80 million deal within a year of launching.

The apparent secret sauce of SmartLess is consistency and quality. The three hosts have the benefit of being friends before the project, adding both existing chemistry and networking capabilities as all three actors had enough connections to leverage big-name celebrity guests early and often. The SmartLess brand is consistently marketed as well, from merch all the way up to a live show so hotly anticipated a documentary series was produced following the three on a live show tour.

The mere presence of celebrities on a podcast does not guarantee success, but when the product is of consistent quality with authentic conversations, there’s more chance of something forming in the conditions that allow SmartLess to thrive outside of lockdown.

YouTube Postpones Co-Viewing Measurement Plan

This Monday from Tim Peterson at Digiday: A previously-announced plan for YouTube to transact against its own co-viewing measurement (e.g. tracking views based on accounting for multiple people in a household watching a video together on one device) has been delayed. The original launch window was Q1 of 2024, but Google has now delayed the process until Q4 amidst vocal concern from agencies. Concerns include those that the process needs fine tuning, and co-listening methodology needs to be more transparently explained to ad buyers.

Measuring multiple people consuming media together is not easy in the digital age. The fact that a company as large as Google is still having to refine that process demonstrates this, but their commitment to the plan shows there’s a path forward. One that podcasting can also pursue when looking to measure co-listening.

Industry Insights with Magellan AI

In Q3’23 podcast advertising spend increased 4% quarter-over-quarter. Despite a slight dip in July, podcast spending ticked up in August and continued increasing through Q3’23. Year-over-year podcast advertising spending was up 32% in Q3’23.

Looking to get a handle on podcast advertising metrics? Book a demo with the Magellan AI team.

Quick Hits

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