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Spotify Has Left the IAB, Podcast Adspend Grows in UK, & More

Spotify Has Left the IAB, Podcast Adspend Grows in UK, & More

April 26, 2024

This Week in the Business of Podcasting

Long time Download readers will know I regularly stumble into themes and connective tissue in the Recap. This week’s accidental theme is one of growth and podcasting’s progress outside the U.S., so get ready for an international adventure. Let’s get started.

Transparency. Performance. Automation.

Spotify has Left the IAB

This Monday from James Cridland at Podnews: Spotify has quietly ended their IAB membership and has chosen to not re-certify. As a result, Spotify-owned companies Megaphone, Chartable, and Spotify for Podcasters have been removed from the IAB’s list of certified companies for podcast measurement. A spokesperson for Spotify tells Podnews that while they are no longer certified, they are all IAB v2.1 standard compliant.

Agencies, advertisers, and holding companies commonly require IAB certification from platforms they work with, which could present friction going forward. In addition to the Spotify news, hosting service Podbean has been removed from the Tech Lab list of compliant companies. For more on the difference between IAB compliance and certification, Cridland has also refreshed the Podnews in-depth article breaking down that difference.

Upping the Rewatch Podcast Tempt

This Wednesday on Sounds Profitable: two years ago the NBC drama This is Us aired its final episode, capping off six seasons of television. Now actors Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, and Chris Sullivan are kicking off an episode-by-episode rewatch podcast named That Was Us.

Celebrity-fronted rewatch podcasts have been a common occurrence in podcasting since the breakaway success of West Wing Weekly back in 2016, but in recent years podcasts like That Was Us are closing the gap between the program itself and the rewatch. While Office Ladies took six years to start after the show’s finale, This is Us is just two. And last years’ Kevin Pollack-hosted My Mrs. Maisel Pod from QCODE took the turnaround time to just ten days.

In an interview with the three hosts, Bryan Barletta asks Moore, Brown, and Sullivan what drives  their motivation to bring back the spirit of This is Us and how they anticipate interfacing with brands throughout the run of That Was Us.

And, unlike some of the earliest examples from the rewatch/retrospective subgenre, That Was Us is part of the new generation that understands the business of podcasting from the start. Gone are the days of actors rolling the dice on a podcast concept, shows like That Was Us can employ proven, successful strategies. And they’re working in a genre that has a special superpower: they can predict the future.

Rewatch podcasts, by design, have a set episode count. There are 106 episodes of This is Us to discuss. Which means both the podcasters and brands working with them know the source material discussed ahead of time and can pre-empt topics and general tone of episodes from day one.

The 10 minute interview is available now on Sounds Profitable podcast feed, YouTube, and the full transcript is available on the website version.

U.K. Podcast Adspend Continues Growth

This Wednesday the IAB UK & PwC Digital Adspend Study covering 2023 was published. The study, having tracked the size of the U.K’s digital advertising market since 1997, is built from a census of major U.K. media owners and intermediaries, covering both mobile and non-mobile advertising. This year’s edition includes a revised classification of video and digital out-of-home.

Overall, the total U.K. digital ad market was worth £29.6 billion ($36.9 billion USD), an 11% year-over-year increase. Despite an overall unpredictable 2023, the second half of the year gained momentum in the U.K., accumulating an 18% year-over-year  increase in H2 spend.

Podcasting has grown 23% year-over-year and is narrowing the gap with streaming audio. Over the past three years the two have almost reached parity, with podcasting’s 2023 ad revenue reaching £83 million while streaming sits at £92 million. For comparison, in 2021 podcasting made £58 million while streaming took home £110 million. The total growth of audio ad spend for 2023 is 12% year-over-year.

New Report on Podcast Listening in Japan

This Thursday Japan-based digital audio advertising agency Otonal, in partnership The Asahi Shimbun Company, has published the Survey of Podcast Usage in Japan #4. The survey, conducted in early December of last year, is built from 10,000 respondents aged 15-69 and 800 daily podcast listeners selected by demographic breakdown.

Key findings include that podcasts are as popular as TikTok consumption across all age groups. Approximately 50% of listeners consume more than three shows regularly. Podcast usage across all populations was 15.7%, though when filtered for teens it rises to 32.8% and 25% for respondents in their 20s. 87.1% of users partake of podcasts while doing something else.

Podcasts also scored particularly well in questions regarding media user information sensitivity when compared to YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, TV, radio, and newspapers. 39.6% of podcast consuming respondents agreed with the phrase “I adopt new products and services faster than others”, and 32.2% agreed with “people often ask me about new trends.” In both those categories podcasting led by over 10 points.

Podcasting’s growth in Japan has been comparatively slow in comparison to other countries in the South East Asia region, but it is being adopted and those who have adopted are passionate, tuned-in audiences.

YouTube Reclassified as CTV

 Last Friday from AdExchanger’s Optimizing the News: GroupM has announced that starting this June they will begin classifying a higher proportion of YouTube ad revenue as connected TV (CTV) rather than digital. The GroupM Global Business Intelligence newsletter announcing the change says their goal is to reflect how giants are increasingly viewing YouTube as part of their wider TV and CTV strategies.

According to Nielsen’s latest TV ratings report, YouTube’s main app accounts for nearly 10% of all TV viewership. A number that could go higher if separate arms of the system were also included, like YouTube TV and Shorts. According to YouTube, CTV viewership for Shorts more than doubled between January and September of 2023.

Given YouTube is now the number one platform for podcast discovery, that’s good for both the healthy growth of video podcasting, and podcasting as an overall industry, as the two are not uniquely exclusive. As Sound You Can See found late last year, video podcast consumers have no problem switching from video to audio, even for the same podcasts, when switching from viewing environments to tasks like driving.

With the growing trend of YouTubers like Rhett and Link and MrBeast and signing FAST deals with streamers like Roku, and YouTube proper’s watch time continuing to grow, YouTube is television for a lot of audiences.

Podscribe Index

How well are various podcast genres doing at converting listeners? Podscribe analyzed top advertisers in March to see which podcast genres are converting listeners the best. Business and Health & Wellness led the pack, with significant increases in purchase rates from the previous month. Notably, Health & Wellness held the top spot in February, while Business ranked second. Additionally, Personal Journals rose to third place, outpacing TV & Film from February.

Quick Hits

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