This Week in the Business of Podcasting
News keeps happening in podcasting, regardless of if we get a four-day weekend or not. We’ve got some fun new announcements, some opinions to chew on, and developments in the wider world of Digital.
Track behaviors, trends, and insights: Download Magellan AI’s podcast advertising benchmark report for Q2
Sirius XM, Barometer, ArtsAI Partner to Create Brand Safety and Suitability Tool
SiriusXM has announced a new brand safety and suitability verification offering built in partnership with brand safety company Barometer and marketing automation platform ArtsAI. The new tool enables agencies and brands to run an ArtsAI pixel on their campaign and then use Barometer’s contextual targeting to measure suitability and safety.
The system aims to solve the problem of marketers only being able to evaluate a majority of brand metrics after a campaign has ended. With the new tool, advertisers can check and tweak campaigns in real time. SXM executives told Digiday they hope the tools will enable advertisers to extend targeting past over-cautious assumptions. One example given was an auto retailers who avoided any news content. Barometer was able to flag a podcast that covered Formula One racing news as a good fit for the retailer that otherwise would’ve been automatically excluded from consideration. A quote from podcast ad agency Oxford Road’s CEO, Dan Granger:
“This priority is critical for brands to access the long tail of podcasts with greater confidence and have more tools to avoid misaligning their company values with the content they sponsor. This is a big win for the advertising community.” [Source]
CPMs Plummet for Digital, Less so for Podcasts
New AdRoll data collected from 2,000 online businesses in North America shows digital advertising CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) have dropped 49% year-over-year.
Online conversions are up 13% year over year as of Q2. AdRoll found companies relating to career, entertainment, and hobbies had the biggest gains the quarter, while automotive and real-estate lost the most ground. The study’s conclusion is consumers are increasingly willing to spend on products or services that enrich their daily lives, but are more hesitant to purchase big-ticket items.
Meanwhile, podcasting’s numbers have fared better. According to AdvertiseCast’s monthly report based on the 2,900 podcasts in their network, the average CPM of a 60 second podcast ad in August was $22.14 USD. This is a 5% year-over-year decrease from last August, but only six pennies less than last month. The lowest CPM recorded by AdvertiseCast’s tracker since its launch in January of 2020 was $21.06 in September of 2020.
All of which to say: Podcasting is hanging in there. And this is going off the sample size of AdvertiseCast. If more companies follow their lead and report CPMs data, we’d have an even healthier perspective of the industry average. [Source]
Spotify Raising Audience Requirement for Ambassador Ads
From Ashley Carman in Bloomberg last Friday: In an effort to crack down on white noise podcast ad revenue, Spotify is changing its host-read ad program.
Ambassador Ads, a program that allows podcasters of a certain size to get paid to run host-read promo spots on their shows for Spotify, used to be accessible to podcasters who had 100 unique Spotify listeners in the past 60 days. As of October 1st the threshold will be upped to 1,000 unique listeners. While intending to cut off ad revenue from podcasts largely consisting of white noise generations and sound effect loops, it also cuts off smaller traditional podcasts.
It is becoming a trend in the industry that, despite part of podcasting’s appeal being its ability to generate content that can target niche audiences, smaller creators are continually walled off from easily accessing paid host-read ad deals. Deals that would benefit from exposure to small, tight-knit audiences. [Source]
Parents Spending Less on Back-to-School, Splurge on Kid-Requested Items
A new survey from Deloitte interviewed over 1,000 parents of children aged from kindergarten to 12th grade. 51% of parents are spending less because they have less money, while 75% of those who are spending more say they’re spending more because prices are higher. More than half of parents surveyed said their children could talk them into splurging on clothing, accessories, or tech items.
With that in mind, we’d like to mention Nielsen’s recent Podcasting Today report, which found co-listening is on the rise, especially with parents and their kids. If brands were to target the podcasts most likely to be co-listens with kids and parents, they would be especially effective at leveraging back-to-school promotions. [Source]
In Q2 2023 average ad loads increased across 11 of the 13 genres highlighted. At the market level average ad loads increased to 5.97%, which is roughly the same as the ad loads in Q2 2022. Last quarter ad loads increased most in the Society & Culture genre, from 6.21% in Q1 to 7.52% in Q2. Meanwhile we detected the largest Q/Q decease in the True Crime genre, from 8.93% in Q1 to 8.38% in Q2.
Looking to get a handle on podcast advertising metrics? Book a demo with the Magellan AI team.
While they may not be top story material, the articles below from this week are definitely worth your time:
- Actually, We Love Ads by Tom Webster. Tom takes a look at a slide from The Podcast Landscape in America study and breaks down what it means for branded podcasts. Hint: It’s great news.
- PodPod and Campaign launch Audio Advertising Awards. The UK-based advertising awards will be taking submissions until their end of October deadline.
- Luminary partners with Acast to bring Luminary Original podcasts to wider audience. The deal will bring six former Luminary exclusives, including flagship celebrity chat show Under the Skin with Russell Brand, to public RSS feeds via Acast.
- ABC Audio Announces Exclusive Multi-Year Podcast Advertising Partnership with Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast. The deal aims to grow ABC Audio’s award-winning podcast portfolio, including Disney podcasts like the upcoming Frozen audio drama.
- ABF Creative: Your Child’s Success Could be a Listen Away: 63% of Parents Report Improvements Through Audio. The new study’s key highlights include the finding that 48% of children become more positive and happy after listening to their preferred audio content.
- When the data misleads, by Brian Morrissey. While useful, over-relying on analytics in the process of content creation can lead to homogenized, SEO-driven content lacking in what made the content unique to begin with.