While it’s not exactly a new medium, the audio landscape is booming -- not only with content, but with opportunities for brands and marketers to grasp as consumers increase their use of audio in their daily media habits.
At the heart of the boom, you’ll find podcasts. It’s been a slow rise to prominence for the channel since the first mention of the term 16 years ago, but many conversations today begin with, “I was listening to the podcast that said…”
A short time ago, placing ad buys against podcasts seemed like experimental marketing for brands you’ve never heard of. Now, podcast revenues are growing -- in large part through D2C brands, which make up 70% of the medium’s revenue. According to a 2019 eMarketer report, podcast advertising revenues were on pace to break the $1 billion mark in 2021.
The time is now, and the space will probably be aided in a big way by larger brands dipping their toes in the audio waves.
The viability of the space has been shored up by two streaming giants: Spotify and Amazon. After all, if one of the most dominant companies in the world is involved, you know it’s primed for success. The other? Well, the Swiss-born company’s stock price has more than doubled in the last year, on the back of a digital acceleration spurred on by the pandemic and various lockdowns.
There are three factors that will fuel growth in podcasting over the next year:
The podcast arms race: Over the last two years Spotify has sought after and acquired several key podcast-specific tech partners and talent. While Spotify seems to have an early lead in the race, Amazon’s most recent acquisition of Wondery is a huge gain for the ecommerce giant.
User growth: Spotify and Amazon are emboldened to wage the arms race based on growing revenue, fueled by growing monthly active users over the last three years.
Strong ROI: Nielsen reports nearly half of all podcast listeners exposed to an ad within the podcast visited a website about the product advertised. Even more astonishing is a 23% digital purchase/conversion rate -- rivaling even the most sophisticated retention strategies. In a retail environment, Nielsen’s study showcased a 7% purchase rate following hearing an ad in a podcast.
The advertiser hold-up? Well, there are two main issues I have as a marketer: the lack of transparent, reliable metrics, along with fragmented consumption.
On the reporting front, the metric wish list includes
The holy grail of podcast reporting? Increased attribution. But rest assured, as podcasts grow in popularity and advertiser demand, the rise in transparent reporting is sure to follow.
With any marketing decision, where your audience consumes media plays a big factor in whether to invest in a certain area or not. But with the increased consumption of streaming audio, chances are your audience will be listening.
Sure, most of us don’t have work commutes any more in the pandemic era. But that doesn’t mean streaming audio has to fall by the wayside while we’re in the home office. What else are you going to listen to when you’re not on Zoom? Your rhythmic typing of 100 words a minute?
Enjoy your streaming.