Podcasting’s Long Tail Pays Off for Advertisers Again and Again

Podcasting’s long tail pays off for advertisers over time, according to panelists at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Digital Audio Agency Day held earlier this month at WNYC’s Greene Space in Manhattan.

Patty Newmark, President and CEO of Newmark Advertising, observed that her clients who buy podcasts ads “see results that get a higher percentage of listeners to respond than we’ve ever seen in radio.” In part it’s because listeners “can archive it (a podcast) and listen over and over again, and our ads are being listened to over and over again.”

Scott MacDonnell
Legal Zoom’s Scott MacDonnell at IAB

Illustrating this point, Scott MacDonnell, VP of Consumer Marketing at LegalZoom.com, and Midroll CEO Jeff Ullrich shared an anecdote from LegalZoom’s first foray into podcast advertising. It’s a case where binge listening–one element of podcasting’s long tail–paid off.

Ullrich explained that three years ago LegalZoom was the first advertiser on an Earwolf podcast, making a six month deal for ads on Sklarboro County.

“The first two months I was looking over my shoulder to see if Scott was coming, because it was horrible,” Ullrich said. “The second two months, he was like ‘It’s still not good, but it’s a little better.’”

In the final three months MacDonnell reported the ads were breaking even, but that they wouldn’t renew.

Jeff Ullrich at IAB
The Mid Roll’s Jeff Ullrich at IAB

“Three months went by where we didn’t run any ads,” Ullrich recalled. But then he heard from MacDonnell, who told him “We did better in the three months where we didn’t run any ads than in the full six months when we did.”

McDonnell said his team searched to see if the discount codes from the podcast ads perhaps had been posted to blogs or discount sites, “but we couldn’t find them anywhere.” So, they determined “it was those downloads,” being listened to days and weeks after the shows first posted, that generated sales.

“It’s been three years,” since that first ad contract, Ullrich said. “And we kept going.”

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