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Podcasts Command Attention, Influencer Spend Increasing, the DoJ’s Case Against Google & More

Podcasts Command Attention, Influencer Spend Increasing, the DoJ’s Case Against Google & More

September 13, 2023

Today in the Business of Podcasting

Influencer Spending Forecast To Grow Double-Digits This Year by Inside Audio Marketing

PQ Media has released their newest Global Marketing Influencer Forecast report, and signs show influencer marketing budgets are growing faster than traditional advertising or marketing spending. For 2022 PQ Media estimates 3.6% of total marketing spend in the U.S> went to influencers. Currently the U.S. accounts for 76.1% of global influencer marketing spending, but PQ Media predicts that share will shrink slowly over the next four years. An example given of podcasting taking advantage of the rise of influencer marketing, as podcasting is influencer marketing after all, is iHeartMedia’s Influencer Summit held this May. [Source]

The Economist adds podcast subscription tier by Sara Fischer

The trend of major publications using paywalled podcasts as a value-add for premium site subscriptions has evolved slightly, as The Economist has now added a subscription tier just for access to their podcasts, titled Economist Podcasts+. Current paid subscribers to The Economists will get access to the premium podcasts benefits at no additional cost, but now new audience members can pay $4.90 a month to just access the podcast benefits, including access to exclusive limited series. The Economist is one of the largest early adopters of podcasting, having launched their first show in 2006. Currently, audio is the Economists’ fastest growing platform for audience growth and executives aim to harness that momentum with the new subscription tier. [Source]

An advertiser’s guide to the Justice Department’s case against Google’s search empire by Ronan Shields

The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google has started this week, alleging the search company has violated federal law designed to prevent the formation of monopolies. The suit argues Google has “de facto exclusivity” as the prevailing search engine and can use that position to play favorites with which companies get preferential placement in the search engine. While a government-enforced breakup of Google would change the landscape of marketing as we know it, this case will likely take weeks, if not years, to get as far as the prosecution proving Google has broken any antitrust laws. It also is worth noting the DoJ has not yet expressed their intended outcome if they were to win. Any outcome, positive or negative, will potentially take years to come into effect. The digital sky is not falling, yet. [Source]

Max Stays Minimal

While the other major video streaming services are increasing the ad load on their ad-supported tiers, Warner Bros. Discovery is holding steady on Max (formerly HBO Max). Instead, the company has adopted the philosophy that any content that is still in production, such as the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, will only have pre-roll ads with no midroll to interrupt flow. On content with pre-roll and midroll, Max averages two to three minutes of ads per hour of content. According to the Warners Bros. Discovery head of US ad sales, having a scarce and premium inventory pool adds more value and impact for the advertiser than having larger ad pods. Which puts Max more in line with podcasting’s less-is-more mentality when it comes to ad pod size than more assertive streaming platforms, such as Philos’ reported 12 minutes of ads per hour of content. [Source]

Data Snapshot

Source: Acast’s Sounds Smart Asia 2023

What It Says: People are more focused on podcasts than other media

What It Means: An ad on a podcast is not the same thing as an ad on social media – podcasts are less likely to be passively consumed

Why It’s Cool: It’s self-reported “focus” data from respondents, but it does give a clue to the state of mind of podcast listeners – they aren’t multitasking as much to podcast content