Over the past ten years, the podcast industry has gone from something a core niche audience engages with, to becoming a staple on many organisations’ media plans for 2021 and beyond.
2014 was seen as a breakout year for the medium, as highly produced content such as Serial, brought digital audio content into the ears of millions of new global listeners for the first time.
Why have they become so popular? Podcasting offers listeners a unique experience that in many ways, traditional broadcast content can’t. It’s often targeted towards your own particular interests as a media consumer. It offers listeners a much broader and diverse range of voices, speaking on subject matter that doesn’t fit the bill for commercial or public-service radio.
The creative potential of the medium, knows very few boundaries and according to Steve Ackerman, MD of ‘Somethin Else’ speaking at Ad Week 2020:
“Intellectual property in audio now has value, as we see podcast series being developed into international live tours, TV programmes and blockbuster movies.”
Reuters Digital News Report 2020 suggests Irish podcast listenership grew 3 points in 2020 with 40% of adults accessing a show at least once a month, compared to just 22% in the UK.
This continued growth of the industry brings new opportunities in how producer’s create engaging content, but also how brands advertise their message on the medium. Typically ad revenue in podcasting is spent in two ways: host read live read mentions, and dynamic advertising through hosting platforms such as Acast, Audioboom, Podbean and Megaphone.
Speaking at Adweek 2020, Scott Elchson, Partnerships Manager of IPG Media Lab noted how brands are now using the ad space to create their own micro branded podcasts, sitting as a narrative piece of branded audio content within an existing podcast. “This allows brands to tell a story within the podcast medium without having to create a show themselves”.
In a global first in 2017, Nate Dimeo’s excellent podcast ‘The Memory Palace’ dedicated an entire season to exploring the historical narratives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as an incredibly creative brand partnership for the world famous NYC museum.
Podcasts offer a unique space for brands to put their message where there’s very little clutter. Matt Turk, CRO of Megaphone suggests:
“You won’t hear a brand for a similar product being mentioned in the same show, allowing brands to take ownership of the audio space.”
Traditionally the pre, mid and post-roll slots were well defined in their length, “but now there is a movement into shorter pre-roll (6 secs) which leads into a more longerform message for the same brand later on in the episode” says Scott Elchson.
The birth of podcasting began in 2004 when Adam Curry, a former MTV DJ and Dave Winner coded a program allowing them to download Internet radio broadcasts to their iPods.
The 16 years since has seen the industry move from it’s once dull and sterile landscape of 2004, to becoming a leading player in the future of creative digital media and quality audio branding. As innovative podcast content and digital audio technology continue to evolve at a rapid pace, the next 16 years create an exciting space for forward-thinking brands to advertise their message in a truly unique way, with very few boundaries.
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