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Podcast Advertising’s Q1, The Safest Advertising Bet, & More

Podcast Advertising’s Q1, The Safest Advertising Bet, & More

May 3, 2024

This Week in the Business of Podcasting

This might have been the busiest week we’ve had in months over on the daily version of the Download. Here’s the cream of the crop, once more. Let’s get started.

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New Podcast Measurement Guidelines

This Tuesday from the IAB Tech Lab: The latest Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines from the Tech Lab finished up their public comment period on March 23rd. Now the full version 2.2 with alterations made to incorporate feedback from that public comment period has been published. Changes include new language requiring podcast measurement companies to document how they solve for anomalous activities, such as sudden download spikes from a single IP address.

Podcasting’s Safe Bet

This Thursday from Tom Webster: In preparation for a recent presentation at the Brand Podcast Virtual Summit, Tom assembled a slide deck that he bills as a ‘greatest hits’ of Sounds Profitable’s advertising-related podcast research. A grab-bag of data designed to help people make the case for podcasting to any audience of prospective buyers. A quote from the article:

“As a partner-supported trade association for the podcast industry, Sounds Profitable has published an incredible body of work over the past two years – ten studies, to be exact. Our goal is to make careers in podcasting possible so that one day if your children express interest in becoming podcasters, it’s a viable and sustainable career path. All of our research supports this mission.”

Key findings include three audience-driven reasons why podcasts work: The Podcast Landscape learned Americans find podcasts entertaining, interesting, and informative. The career of podcasters is viewed as respectable, valuable, and skilled.

Podcast audiences are becoming more exclusive as the field attracts a younger, more positive audience than broadcast media counterparts. And those younger audience members are more positive about brands and more receptive to advertising in general when compared to older Americans.

And finally, podcast listeners are less likely to hear a lot of ads, as they report hearing fewer ads in podcasts than in other media channels. Podcast consumers are the most likely group of media consumers to subscribe to one or more ad-free music platforms and ad-free streaming TV services.

Meaning consumers who actively pay money to avoid advertisements still find podcast ads compelling. The study Sound You Can See found YouTube Premium subscribers, who pay to skip YouTube ads, enjoy and appreciate the ads read by podcast hosts, with 87% of these subscribers said they either like or don’t mind ads in the podcasts they consume.

Podcast Advertising’s Q1

This week from Magellan AI: Advertising benchmarks for Q1 and top advertisers for March 2024, as well as the entirety of Q1. Starting with just the month’s data, March held relatively steady with the ad revenue of February, despite spending increases from Super Bowl Sunday. In total, the podcast advertisers tracked by Magellan AI only spent $111,000 less than February.

Unsurprisingly, sports remains the most popular top genre for spend, taking the lead with nine of the 15 advertisers. March’s movers and shakers include a 424% increase in spend from Meta, up to just over $2 million. The biggest percentage increase is Canva with a 14,806% increase, going from $2,800 in February to $413,300 in March.

Moving on to the total Q1 findings, after analyzing 109,000 episodes of popular podcasts in Q1 of this year, Magellan AI finds podcast ad spend is up 39% year over year.

Six of the top ten spenders in Q1 were also in the top of the Q4 2023 list. 1,488 new brands have started advertising in podcasting for the first time since January. The share of 30 second ad spots grew 42% this past quarter.

The Growth of Sports Advertising

Last Friday from Sam Bradley at Digiday: The Union of European Football Associations’ Euro 2024 is fast approaching, one of the largest regular sporting events in the world that will then be followed up by the Olympics kicking off in Paris. Suffice it to say: advertisers have a lot going on in the world of sports over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile in the U.S., brands are also keyed-in to perennial sports moments. Also from last Friday, AdWeek’s Jason Notte covers the various brands popping up in places near the ongoing NFL draft. Various campaigns are running concurrently in hopes of capturing the tuned-in sports fandom drawn to the yearly player draft.

Brands like Nationwide, Rocket Mortgage, even Snickers are getting in on promotional deals featuring previous and upcoming NFL stars. And podcasts are proving to be a good avenue for brands to reach passionate fans outside the usual TV ad campaigns. From the same Magellan AI data mentioned above; 9 of the top 15 advertisers in podcasting favor the sports genre.

According to Bradley’s coverage, Sky Bet has announced a five month partnership with the Sport Social Podcast Network starting this month. A partnership Sky Bet says allows for flexibility, as messaging can be changed on the fly based on developments both during matches and in between games.

Podscribe Ad Read Index: March 2024

Top Genres by Read Type: Host vs Producer

What genres have mostly host-read or producer-read ads? In March, “Technology” led in host-read ads with 76.37%, a shift from February’s “Kids & Family” dominance. “History” topped producer-read ads, replacing “Government.” “Education” and “Health & Fitness” remained strong in host-read ads, while “Science” continued to be popular for producer-read ads.

Quick Hits

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