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Nielsen: Podcasting Audiences Could Double by 2023


Nielsen
Nielsen

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, VP of Client Consulting Arica McKinnon, discussed how podcast ads drive brand impact during Podcast Movement 2020.

McKinnon'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 McKinnon. "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."

McKinnon 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 McKinnon'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.

"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."

Megaphone VP, Head of Sales David Cohn elaborated, "In a medium that is really growing like podcasting, it's important to be able to show not only measurement, but that the ads being used in podcasts are effective."

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.

"There's a lot of discussion around podcasting and the opportunities that podcasts represent in the marketplace," said iHeartMedia EVP/National Research David Shiffman. "Having the ability to provide the measurement around different brand metrics, all the way through purchase intent really lets brands and agencies feel comfortable and ensures that we can provide accountability back to them in terms of what this still relatively new medium is going to do for them."

Prior to the second panel, VP of Audience Insights Tony Hereau presented on making the case for brand advertising. He spoke about podcast Insights on financial, retail, and automotive consumers, and the young and affluent audience that podcasting appeals to. As advertisers saturate the space, and certain sectors are seeing explosive growth, Hereau also mentioned that the demographic of the consumer who listens to podcasting is highly coveted.

"Podcasting attracts young consumers and an educated audience with high incomes," said Hereau. "When we compare the audience of podcast listeners to the total U.S., we see a higher concentration among the 18-44 age group."

Panelists also discussed the role of matching buyers and advertisers to unique business opportunities and use cases in a discussion following Tony's talk. The group also talked about the importance of helping advertisers reach scale through expanding their understanding of how podcasting aligns with target audiences, in order to maximize planning and optimization.

"When using Nielsen's Podcast Buyer Insights, we have been excited about the ability to have a conversation with a brand or a performance advertiser to understand the market opportunity in this space," said Veritone One SVP, Strategy and Investment Conor Doyle.

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 Cumulus Media/Westwood One Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard. "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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