Sept. 15, 2021

Answering Marketers Questions About Podcast Advertising

Answering Marketers Questions About Podcast Advertising

We have had a rush of new advertisers enter the space this month, and many of them had questions that I thought would be useful to you.

We have had a rush of new advertisers enter the space this month, and many of them had questions that I thought would be useful to you. Here is what the episode will cover:

  1. What's the difference between downloads and listens, and what are we tracking?
  2. What is the difference between downloads and impressions?
  3. What's the difference between dynamic ad insertion and embedded?
  4. Are ads priced on downloads or listens?
  5. Are there average CPMs for embedded and dynamic ads?
  6. What's the difference between Podsights and Chartable?




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This transcription has been edited. 

[00:00:30] Heather Osgood: Hello, and welcome to the Podcast Advertising Playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood, and today on the program, I'm going to answer some advertiser questions that we had come in around understanding audience and attribution. So the first question that this particular advertiser had was does the industry benchmark downloads versus listens?

[00:00:53] And, this particular advertiser said, for instance, "I have several podcasts that I have downloaded [00:01:00] and not listened to". So, that is such a good question because the answer is, it depends, but not really. So, when we're looking at it, of course, there are two different types of ads that the majority of advertisers and podcasters are using at this moment.

[00:01:18] So we've got those embedded or baked-in ads that are happening, and those are going to be ads that are in one specific episode, and when you listen to that episode, you're going to hear that ad. But, you're not going to hear that ad if you listen to other episodes. Now, of course, that baked-in, embedded ad stays in for as long as the podcaster allows it to. 

[00:01:41] So, unless the podcaster goes back and edits that file and removes it, it's going to be in the episode. Whereas that dynamically inserted ad is going to be inserted across the entire catalog of episodes and so very different for sure. I will say that when we are looking at download [00:02:00] numbers, a download does not represent a listener because as this particular advertiser mentioned, you can have certainly episodes that you are downloading and not listening to; that happens all the time.

[00:02:14] Now, obviously that's not what we want to happen, right. We would love everyone who downloads an episode to actually listen to it, but not everyone does. There are also important standards that the IAB or the Interactive Advertising Bureau has put in place. So the IAB 2.0 standards really give us a way that we're looking at measuring downloads and how downloads are measured. So I'm not going to go over all of the intricate details of that because they are very detailed. But if you are interested, I would highly recommend that you go and check out that report because it will give you an idea of how a download is counted and what that means. 

[00:02:53] However, a download does not represent a listener. It does give us a general sense [00:03:00] though, of how large that potential audience might be. Now when we're looking at dynamically inserted ads, the benefit of dynamic insertion is that we do have a bit more information. So as we're looking at dynamically inserted ads, we're not looking at it on a download basis. We are looking at it on an impression basis.

[00:03:20] Now, every hosting company is slightly different, and there is a range of hosting companies that allow for dynamic insertion. Most of the hosting companies that we have worked with, will allow you to measure impressions based on if that listener listened to the portion of the episode where that ad appeared.

[00:03:40] So, let's say you have a 30-minute episode and the ad is at minute 15. I'm listening to this podcast and I listened through minute eighteen. I would be counted as an impression. If I stopped listening at minute 10, I would not be counted as an impression. Now the tricky part about this, [00:04:00] and truthfully, I don't understand exactly why this is, the tricky part is that we don't know for sure if the person listened to the actual ad. 

[00:04:09] So they could have fast-forwarded through the ad, just as with embedded or baked in, you can fast forward through ads, but we do know that the person was actively listening at the time when your ad was running, which gives us a much greater sense of what kind of impression was delivered.

[00:04:26] So instead of looking at downloads, we are looking at impressions, and there is certainly a lot of value in that. We cannot necessarily though get down to the root of who is actually listening to a podcast. So, that can be a little bit tricky, but we really then need to turn to look at what the goals of the campaign are

[00:04:48] and also, what kind of measurement tactics we're going to put in place. Because, we always have to keep in mind, that while digital media provides us with a slew of different data [00:05:00] points, we have all been running ads as companies for years and years in TV Radio, and Print that did not provide us with really any actual data.

[00:05:09] It was all circumstantial. So, I think that there, it doesn't mean that just because we can't say that these many people are listening, that the ads aren't effective, or that they don't work. It just means that the transparency level isn't quite there yet. 

[00:05:24] The next question that this advertiser had was, "Is pricing based on downloads or listeners?"

[00:05:32] And, of course, the answer to that fairly easily answered by the question that I just answered, which was because we don't know exactly who is listening, typically, we're always going to be looking to price that campaign based on downloads for embedded and impressions for dynamically inserted ads. 

[00:05:53] The next question that came through is, "Do you have average CPMs for the [00:06:00] downloads,  per episode?" And, yes, definitely.

[00:06:05] Yes, definitely CPM pricing should be considered in any sort of campaign. And, as I talked about in a prior episode, and if you want to go back and listen to that one specifically about pricing, I break down all of the different CPM levels. But we do want to consider what CPM we are paying for a particular podcast.

[00:06:26] And that could be on an embedded basis. That could be on an impression-level basis, but you do want to consider CPMs. And in my experience, those should range somewhere between $15 for a very broad audience, up to $50 for a show that maybe has very tight inventory or is very niche and targeted. So those would be the different CPMs that you would be looking at.

[00:06:50] Now, the last question that was asked was, "Is there a difference between Podsights and Chartable, and is there, you know, a good option; is attribution something that we should be using?". Now, I do want to state that of course, this is an advertiser that we were working with directly. And yes, there, there certainly are differences between Podsights and Chartable, but I wanted to address the kind of question first about attribution,

[00:07:17] and is it something that you should be using. Now increasingly there's talk about attribution and who allows for it and who doesn't. I definitely see more and more, certainly, through the year of 2021, we have had an increased desire or request for attribution tracking, and you definitely, if you can do attribution tracking, you should. Attribution tracking really is just pixel-based tracking, which most advertisers are very familiar with

[00:07:43] through Google and all of their social accounts, but really making sure that you set that attribution tracking in place is very important because it gives you that layer of understanding about who exactly is listening to your podcast. Now, I would say when we look at the differences between Chartable and Podsights, there of course are other attribution companies out there as well.

[00:08:08] The differences from my perspective are fairly minor. Now, each company has different offerings. I know that Podsights has just released some different demographical information that you can receive. I know that they're working on helping you plan out your campaigns and really make making sense of, "Hey, is this the right podcast for me to advertise on?"

[00:08:30] So I think that there are some nice tools that Podsights has created. You know, Chartable also though has some really great rankers and different things. So I do see strengths in both companies and I don't particularly feel from an advertiser's perspective that you're going to be way off the mark

[00:08:49] if you choose one over the other. Ultimately, I think that it's about attribution and making sure that you're including that in your campaign when it's necessary. So, when you work through True [00:09:00] Native Media, that's something that we help our advertisers set up and encourage them to set up because it really does help bolster your campaign.

[00:09:08] Now, if you're working with another company, make sure that you're asking them about attribution tracking, because it can make a huge difference in what it is that you're creating. That is all that I have for us today. I appreciate you guys tuning in. If you have not gotten a chance to check out our new YouTube channel, I ask that you please go over and check that out and subscribe.

[00:09:29] We are doing our best to create some great content there for you. There isn't a lot of information on YouTube about podcast advertising, and so we are going to be your source for that there. So, make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you have any specific questions for me, please, don't hesitate to reach out.

[00:09:46] I am on LinkedIn a lot, and you are welcome to message me there. Have a great day, and I will talk to you again soon. Take care.

[00:09:52] [00:10:00]