Summer Toolkit for Podcast Advertisers

Tips for keeping up as podcast advertising heats up.


Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

 We’re calling it…2021 will be the summer of podcasts. 

Thanks to a strong 2020 recovery, healthy audience growth, and the undeniable FOMO generated from splashy announcements, analysts at eMarketer have updated their podcast advertising outlook. Reaching $1.33 billion in 2021 and on track to become a multi-billion dollar industry over the next few years, marketers who continue to ignore the medium will be left in the dust. 

Lack of measurement and data has held back advertisers in the past. And of course, there’s the challenge of sorting through the overwhelming amount of content available and identifying the best environments. But that’s changing thanks to the growing number of tools, data partners, and discovery solutions now at advertisers’ disposal.

You know podcast advertising is effective and that host reads are golden. So what else do you need to know to set up your next campaign for success? We got you.

Summer of discovery.

Looking for a top show with massive reach? Or maybe an indie title with a specific niche? It’s not uncommon that buyers turn to the same tools listeners use to find their next podcast, but knowing the difference in how all the podcast ‘charts’ rank the content is key.

Apple’s algorithm is based on new subscribers, playback activity and completion, and does not measure downloads. Spotify revamped its top charts which are determined by a combination of overall follower counts and the number of recent unique listeners. 

Then there are the third-party measurement services that rank the top podcasts regardless of the podcast directories they live in. Services like Triton and Podtrac rely on IABv2.0 downloads or surveys from Edison and Media Monitors ask participants to recall the shows they listen to. Note that some of these tools are opt-in or subscription-based. They may not paint a full picture of the podcast universe, but they are more accurate measures of actual reach than the Apple charts.

Of course, there are other resources to consider for finding hidden gems. Review sites Podchaser and GoodPods or the dozens of podcast newsletters (we like Podnews, Podcast Delivery, and Inside Podcasting) curate shows you may have missed.

Find your (share of) voice.

There was once a time when intrepid podcast advertisers owned their categories. In Q1 of 2021, over 1,500 new advertisers tested podcasting for the first time according to the latest Podcast Advertising Benchmark Report from Magellan AI. 

Knowing your place in the market and paying attention to your competition is more important than ever. The podcast media planning platform is empowering brands to do just that, giving brands the necessary competitive intel to make informed buying decisions. 

Where are brands finding success in the medium and what content is turning into repeat customers? The fastest-growing industries – consumer services & software, insurance, auto, nutritional supplements, and bedding – increased their budgets in Q1 of 2021. While the sports and news podcasts attracted the most new advertisers, true crime and the kids & family genre dedicated the most airtime to ads. 

Do more with host reads.

Host reads are by far the most authentic vehicle for connecting with podcast listeners. The evidence behind how well these ads perform is overwhelming due to the intimate relationship hosts have with their audience and the native ad integration. 

Today, host reads can work harder for brands than ever before. We are proud to have pioneered dynamic ad insertion (DAI) through our partnership with Megaphone to deliver premium host read ads to your target audience at scale – across networks, genres, and/or back catalog listening.

To give marketers more transparency and flexibility over traditional baked-in ads, DAI allows us to add targeting (yes, even geo-targeting), impression tracking, and attribution to host-read ad campaigns. You can read up more on audience targeting capabilities via Megaphone here

While there is no true automation for buying host reads yet, they can complement a ‘programmatic’ podcast campaign either through the Megaphone Targeted Marketplace or another service. 

Give campaigns a lift.

Need to measure success beyond promo codes and vanity URLs? Lift reports are another option for data insight-loving marketers who want to know if their podcast ad spend is making an impact.

There are a number of reports out there, like Podsights, Claritas, and Chartable, to name a few. Podsights’ incremental lift reports, for example, analyze a campaign based on the client’s tracking pixels – measuring lift in views, purchases, leads, or installs.  

What kind of lift are we seeing? According to Podsights latest Q2 ‘21 Benchmark Report, the average incremental lift in purchases versus doing nothing at all is 82%. Looking at the data from the completed Podsights campaigns we facilitated, advertisers saw an average lift of 132% in purchases! And lift was even higher for the tech category (217%) and health and wellness advertisers (213%).

We won’t get into the weeds here, but if you want to learn more about the mechanics behind these lift reports, Sounds Profitable’s Bryan Barletta does an excellent job breaking down how they work here and here.

Ready to gear up for a summer of success? The right ad sales partners can open the door to the right tools for actionable insights and finding the best-performing content for your brand. Get in touch to learn more. 
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