Podcasts are a personality driven medium and have been gaining popularity over the past few years. They are easy to produce and provide a wide variety of hosts and content. Programs contain anything from murder mysteries, to sports, Ted Talks, political debates, or celebrities discussing current topics. As of the June 2019 count there are over 750,000 shows to choose from and over 3 million episodes globally.
Loyal listeners who tune in repeatedly to the same podcast host grow a connection. Popular hosts can in turn, provide successful ROI factors for brands.
How to Tune In
The ease of downloading and listening to podcasts is one of the factors that adds to its’ recent popularity. According to Edison Research people listen to podcasts most at home, in cars, while walking, at work, at the gym, or riding public transportation.
“The average time weekly podcast listeners listen to podcasts, 6 hours and 37 minutes. People are listening to more podcasts for a longer period of time”.
Commercial Pods for Podcasting
Studies reveal podcast ads are most effective when delivered by the show host. Much like radio DJ’s do with on-air endorsements.
Depending on the podcast genre, size, and host preference, the commercial break can have anywhere from 1 ad for the smaller shows, to 3 ads throughout the episode.
The IAB standard ad units available on the majority podcasts are pre, mid, and post rolls, and availability of all three depends on the size of the show. The pre-roll spot is served at the beginning of the show. This is a great placement to push into the ‘introduction’ of the show. Advertisers have the ability to reach every download of that specific episode. The downside is the potential of being heard by an impatient listener wanting to get to the heart of the show. Skipping the pre-roll ad is a potential here.
The mid-roll ad plays in the middle of the episode or when the show is transitioning segments (ex: interview). The advantage to this ad placement is heightened attention from listenership and a natural flow with content.
The last commercial pod is the post-roll spot, positioned at the very end of the episode, after the show has concluded. According to Edison Research, the Podcast Consumer Report reports that 95% of listeners listen to most of the show and 90% claim to listen to all the show out of all of podcast listeners. The threat in this position could be listeners checking out and not remaining tuned into long enough to catch the last advertisement.
The biggest drawback for advertisers is that podcast companies do allow listeners to skip commercials, however according to The Podcast Consumer report, the majority of listeners will not skip an add that is delivered by the host 87% of podcast listeners listen to most or all of the podcast.
Recommended Media Strategy
Which ads are the best buy? Glenn Rubenstein, Founder of ADOPTER Media: Podcast Advertising Agency & author of Podcast Advertising Works, says that from his personal experience having multiple ads in the same episode works best. Some may argue that the pre-& mid roll would work best because it gives the audience an initial exposure to your brand, and a follow up in the middle once the shows flow has been formed. Glenn advises not to exclude the post-roll ad all together, which in his experience many new advertisers will do. When combined with placements earlier in the episode, a post roll ad can be a great compliment to an earlier ad.