Monday, November 30, 2020

Nielsen: Podcasting Continues to Thrive

According to Nielsen Scarborough data, at a 20% rate of growth, the audience for podcasting could double by 2023, and the IAB projects that U.S. podcast advertising revenues will surpass $1 billion by 2021. 

Given the growth and ad opportunities in the podcast space, Arica McKinnon, VP of Client Consulting, discussed how podcast ads drive brand impact during Podcast Movement 2020. Arica’s presentation leveraged insights from more than 250 Nielsen podcast ad effectiveness studies involving 240 brands across auto, CPG, education, financial services, DTC retail and technology. These studies contain ad engagement findings from 541 podcast clips and 195 podcast shows that were tested across various podcast genres. 

She noted that this research, which involves presenting listeners with podcasts’ clips and assessing their engagement versus those not exposed across an array of key brand metrics and content measures allows brands to assess the impact of their advertising and sponsorship on podcasts. 

“When we asked podcast listeners to rate the host of the show they were exposed to, an average of 66% rated the talent or host as excellent or very good, with two-thirds describing the talent as likable and 42% describing the talent as credible,” said Arica. “Podcasting is known for having host-read ads, which come off as authentic to listeners because the talent actually has a personal experience with the brand. So it’s natural to select a host that is more credible, reliable and fun to sell your products.” 

Arica continued, “Our analysis across our studies demonstrates that exposure to mid-roll ads yield stronger content scores, and shows that 64% of those exposed indicated that they would seek similar content in the future, driving  a 5% increase over those who were exposed to the pre-roll ad.” 

A wide spectrum of clients and advertisers are coming into the space, and advertisers are finding value and continue to take advantage of host-read ads and tailor-made messages for specific consumer segments. 

Following Arica’s presentation, Bruce Supovitz, SVP of National Audio Services, hosted two panels on ways to use industry insights to optimize monetization opportunities in podcasts. Panelists discussed the importance of these metrics in providing accountability to brands and media agencies as well as the impact of host-read advertising as compared to more traditional advertising modalities. 

Pierre Bouvard
“What has been a pleasant surprise to me, as someone who sees all the requests coming through from the various podcasters on these studies, is a really wide spectrum of clients and advertisers coming into this space,” said Bruce. “It’s refreshing, and I think it speaks highly of the medium that they are putting their dollars into it, whether it be a direct-response client or a well-known brand.”

Advertising effectiveness is of paramount importance for brands and advertisers, and having ways with which to showcase the differences of specific audiences is a part of the future trajectory of understanding this much coveted space.

As brands and advertisers continue to look for the best places to reach audiences, looking at the audience composition is a way to ensure that brands are resonating most. 

“There is a huge interest in the profile of audience,” said Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer, Cumulus Media/Westwood One. “There were a  number of companies measuring raw audience or rank, but no one was showing the buying habits of the consumer. We knew brands were looking for certain consumer profiles to connect to specific titles.” 

In describing the importance of understanding the nuances of what kind of content is most appropriate for audiences and advertisers, Paul Riismandel, Sr. Director of Marketing & Insights at Stitcher/Midroll said, “Content is king, but it is certainly for content that advertisers and audiences are interested in. It really helps us to look at how we put shows together into packages, and how we help advertisers reach scale by looking not just at the content vertical but also looking at the audiences themselves.

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