Brands Need To Be in Podcasts, Industry Experts Explain at Advertising Week

A valuable and unduplicated audience, their rapt attention, great content and high quality ads. These are the big reasons why brands should be in podcasts, according to podcasting industry experts at New York Advertising Week’s “The Power Of Audio Summit.”

Matt Lieber, president and co-founder of Gimlet Media, observed that podcasts have an audience he calls, “the unreachables.” They’re so identified because the vast majority subscribe to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and 60% use ad blockers online.

“They’re watching television,” he said, “but they’re not seeing ads.” However, “they’re listening to our podcasts, and listening to our ads.”

Listeners pay attention to podcast ads because of the creativity and personality that goes into them. Mark McCrery, CEO of Authentic, reported that in his company’s research most listeners say ads don’t impact their enjoyment of podcasts. Moreover, because of this quality of delivery, 30% say the ads enhance their enjoyment of podcasts.

This affinity results from, “the authenticity and the respect the audience feels when a brand and a publisher take time to curate a brand message for that podcast,” said Gina Garrubbo, CEO of National Public Media.

Midroll’s chief revenue officer Lex Friedman noted that when it comes to ads read by hosts, “the more scripted it gets, the less authentic it feels.” This sentiment, encouraging brands to trust the creativity and sensibility of talent and producers, was heard many times over during the Summit.

As an example, Friedman cited a successful campaign in the hit series “Missing Richard Simmons” for meal delivery service Hello Fresh. The host, Dan Taberski, is a vegetarian, and so he wanted to focus his endorsements on the company’s meatless options, even though they make up only a portion of its offerings. Hello Fresh was willing to go with it, recognizing that “listeners are already in love with that show,” and with its host.

With a growing audience of highly engaged listeners that opts-in to shows and the ads that support them, podcasting is experiencing phenomenal growth. Lieber pointed out there’s 80% compound annual growth in revenue, based on a study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC. “That makes podcasting the fastest growing media industry, bar none.”

A significant driver is the breadth and quality of content, added Midroll CEO Erik Diehn. “What’s accelerated the audience is that there are so many more types of shows that you could never have conceived of in terrestrial,” he said.

At the top of the summit Friedman explained that you hear from many of the same direct response advertisers again and again on podcasts because these companies, “don’t spend good money after bad.” Brands have started noting these successes, and with more new ideas, talent and audiences pouring into the space, there are countless more success stories to be told.

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