NEWS

Tips for Your Next Podcast Buy from Top Industry Professionals

March 2018
Get the most out of our podcast buy.

Some of the industry’s top podcast buyers – from Ad Results Media to the team at Squarespace – are achieving 2.5-3x ROI on their marketing spends, and feeling confident about this brand safe platform in the face of concerns about spending in digital.

podcast buy

Photo Credit: Jenna Bascom

“The best way to fight fraud is ROI. The second, is buying in areas where fraudsters aren’t interested,” said Camelot’s Brian Tomasette during a panel at the 2018 RAIN Podcast Business Summit last week in New York.

 

Throughout the event, Tomasette, members of NPR’s sponsorship team and other leaders in audio offered key tips and insights into evaluating podcasting for clients, building smart campaigns and measuring success. And we’ve rounded the best takeaways. 

 

podcast buy

Photo Credit: Jenna Bascom

 
When you’re making your next podcast buy, consider these tips from top podcast buyers and NPR’s sponsorship team:
  • Optimize your frequency: Start with a high frequency for at least six weeks to build awareness – for weekly shows, that means running weekly or every other week. Then dial back to 1-2x/month to maintain.
  • Ask your publisher about their “download measurement window.” One download does not always equal one person listening to one episode. Depending on how long it takes a listener to play through the show and how short the publisher’s “download measurement” window is, this could be counted as multiple downloads on your delivery report. AdExchanger’s Alison Weissbrot writes, “While big publishers are moving away from the five-minute download window, there’s still a lack of consistency across the board. Midroll uses a 60-minute window, but NPR uses a two-hour window. The IAB is working on setting a standard for a 24-hour download window.”
  • Plan ahead, and lock in your inventory now. The podcast audience is growing. According to the 2018 Infinite Dial, 44% of Americans 12+ now say they have ever listened to a podcast – up 40% from last year. Don’t miss out on the shows and publishers you want to partner with – lock in inventory now for the year ahead to guarantee rates through the end of the year. And if you don’t have the budget to secure all the inventory you want today, ask your publisher about flexible flighting options and rates for the back catalogue of top shows.
  • Trust your publisher on scripts and credit reads. Each podcast host has created a rapport with their listeners and created a specific environment for their show. It’s part of what makes podcasting so unique. To be sure your credits strike the right tone, first, listen to the show! Second, ask your publisher for guidance on copy that will resonate with that show’s audience.
  • Measure smart: Whether you’re running a branding campaign or a DR campaign, bolster standard performance reports with additional measurement to help you determine ROI. Consider a brand-lift survey, in-transaction survey, and referral codes/vanity URLs to track impact. 
  • Go beyond the podcast. Extend your campaign across platforms – broadcast, digital, print, events – to enhance impact of your podcast buy and reach unduplicated audiences

 

podcast buy

Photo Credit: Jenna Bascom

 

While podcasting has grown across audience, content, distribution, opportunities for brands and more, RAIN speakers also offered a glimpse into what’s ahead.

 

Looking Ahead
  • Measurement: Last year, Apple opened analytics to podcast publishers, but there’s more work to be done. The industry is now focused on standardizing download windows, adopting a consistent protocol for measuring listening and moving to transacting on it with advertisers. Many of these advancements are already in motion with industry groups such as the IAB and MRC, as well as other players organizing to tackle these issues head on through initiatives like Remote Audio Data (RAD).
  • The Podcast Format: Publishers in audio and beyond are experimenting with form and taking inspiration from podcasting into other mediums. NPR is designing content for on-demand listening via daily news briefings on smart speakers. The Daily is creating content specials within the franchise. And video streaming services including HBO and Netflix are developing new shows taken straight from podcasting.
  • The Android Factor: Currently, more than half of all podcast listening occurs in the iOS system. But what about Android users? How will opportunities around Android/Google shape the future of podcast apps?
  • The Impact of Voice-activation: Last year, 7% of Americans owned a smart speaker. Today, that number has jumped to 18%. And this tech is promising for audio format programming like podcasts: 70% are listening to more audio since getting a smart speaker.

 

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