My Ground Truth On Podcast Advertising


The handful of companies that have been working aggressively in the Podcast Advertising space are wondering why it took the mainstream press so long to wake up to the potential of podcast advertising.

What surprises me the most though is the ongoing pre-occupation with auto-insertions of ads as the next hot thing along with concerns on listener measurements. First of all Auto-Insertion is DOA at this point and valid listener measurement has long been dealt with. I wonder if these people are actually talking to people in the space connecting advertisers to podcasters?

Let me tackle auto-insertion first. A few companies feel they can become successful with auto-interested ads. At RawVoice, our experience with podcasters and audiences leads us to believe that this success will be short-lived. We think that the podcast audience responds better to host-spoken ads because there is a “host – audience” relationship that is unlike any other media delivery mechanism.

The second you drop in some pre-produced, auto inserted advertisement, this immediately disconnects the podcaster from the audience, and the advertiser message will not have the impact that it should have.

We all hate ‘in your face‘ advertising, but podcast audiences have been very supportive of podcasters that really get behind a product. Here are a few things in my opinion that make up a good Podcast Advertising Campaign.

  • Host Delivered Ad Spot via Talking Points!
  • Non Hard Scripted Ad Spot!
  • Clear Call to Action
  • Promo Codes
  • Discounts
  • Samples
  • Extended Trial Offers
  • Tangible Products or Services

Looking at Audience Measurement, software tools have been in place for well over 18 months that measure:

  • Unique Listeners Per Episode
  • Repeat Unique Listeners
  • Total Downloads
  • Total Bandwidth Delivered

The question of how many impressions advertisements actually get comes up from time to time. A combination of the hard raw data tied to survey results and the results from techniques outlined above will yield a strong Podcast Advertising Campaign. Tracking of responses to promotion codes, number of direct links back to advertiser through standard click through tracking, number of trial offers initiated, and in many cases total number of hard sales all “add” to an impressive response rate.

We have a very good data that proves ad penetration is around 90% of the total listening audience. We don’t get that many conversions but 90% of the ads are getting to the intended audience.

Try to get those types of impressions in Radio and TV! This goes back to tenets of why podcasting is different, with the active listening of the audience tied to the “host – audience” relationship and highly targeted audiences your see impressive results. No longer do advertisers have to just throw their ads out there. They reach the exact demographic they want to every time the ad spot runs.

Why do you think companies like GoDaddy, GotoMeeting are in the podcast advertising space? They have learned that being in the space long term is highly lucrative. The medium has resulted in significant numbers of new customers that those companies can measure.

While I have no doubt that if their plan is executed effectively Google could make a strong impact on podcast advertising, I think they would be better served acting as brokers for companies that have real inventory available today.

Business Week

Todd Cochrane
CEO RawVoice