Over the course of this short series I’ve been covering the five factors driving podcast advertising right now. So far we have: new “offline” advertisers entering the space; it’s a proven model; metrics are improving; and advertisers are getting savvier about demographics.
We’ve now reached the final factor, which is also a big one: the quality of podcasts has hit a new high.
“As the industry has matured shows in general sound better,” says Midroll’s head of sales Lex Friedman on The Wolf Den podcast, episode 71. And, “the fact that shows are sounding better is not insignificant.”
The medium became a press darling last fall in part because of the entry of sophisticated and well-produced shows like Serial and Startup, along with the debut of the Wolfpop network. Yet, listeners and reporters alike are sticking with podcasts because, across the board, shows are superior compared to five years ago.
“Podcasters have more hours under their podcasting belts,” Lex explains. He also sees the quality of podcasters’ ad reads advancing forward.
This is also heard in the influx of talent who are enriching the space. From masters of audio storytelling like Alex Blumberg and YouTube stars like Grace Helbig to beloved film critic Leonard Maltin and actress/comedian Lauren Lapkus, podcasting is the frontier for fresh approaches to audio programming that informs and entertains.
Podcasting is a rapidly maturing industry. Its growth factors are working in close concert to create a symphony of innovation in which everybody benefits: podcasters, advertisers, and–importantly–listeners.