The first two factors driving the maturation of podcast advertising are the influx of new offline advertisers and the proven performance of podcast ads. Now we’re up to the third factor of five: measurement and metrics, and how they’re improving.
As Lex Friedman, Midroll’s EVP of Sales, explained on The Wolf Den podcast, right now we can only report the number of times a given podcast episode was downloaded, not how many times it was heard.
However, he says the good news is that, "what works for Comedy Bang! Bang!, in terms of its downloads being a good predictor of how many people are going to hear the ad, also works for How Did This Get Made?, and also works for Maltin on Movies, and also works for WTF with Marc Maron.
“So even though we know we’re not necessarily selling a direct listen number with that download number, it’s comparable to it. It’s proportional to it, and it works the same across all these shows, based upon the results all these advertisers are seeing.”
Over the course of the next year Lex foresees improvements in listener metrics.
Erik Diehn, VP of Business Development, made a similar prediction for Midroll’s 2015 Forecast. He said there will be efforts at “making numbers more measurable by third parties.”
Contributing to this is an Interactive Advertising Bureau committee that Midroll Media is on, working on obtaining better measurement for audio ads.
With streaming services like Stitcher and YouTube measurement is easier than with downloaded media because the server is in constant communication with the platform’s server. “They can tell you how far did people get, did they listen to the ad, did they skip the ad?” Lex says.
With podcasts, “I think we’ll get better and better on that front.”