July 7, 2021

Podcast Advertising: 2021 Mid-Year Predictions And Trends

Podcast Advertising: 2021 Mid-Year Predictions And Trends

With the podcast advertising landscape changing so rapidly in the last 6 months, I want to take a moment and talk about the trends I am seeing and my predictions for the next 6 months. I will cover: 1. The rise of programmatic ads and how this will...

With the podcast advertising landscape changing so rapidly in the last 6 months, I want to take a moment and talk about the trends I am seeing and my predictions for the next 6 months.

I will cover:

1. The rise of programmatic ads and how this will positively affect host-read ads.

2. What dynamic insertion is lacking.

3. The lastest thing advertisers require for their ad campaigns.

I would love your take on these so message me on Linkedin!

As of this month, we will be moving to bi-monthly episodes.


This transcript 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, it is the middle of 2021, when I am recording this episode. We just celebrated the 4th of July, and I thought that it would be a terrific time to talk about mid-year predictions for podcast advertising.

[00:00:51] Heather Osgood: I know that we always like to talk about trends at the beginning of the year, and I thought this weekend, why don't we do that? Why not go ahead and talk about [00:01:00] trends in the middle of the year, and go ahead and revamp your goals. Think about what will be taking place in the last six months of the year.

[00:01:08] Heather Osgood: I'm excited for the upcoming six months. We have Podcast Movement coming up in Nashville in August. Our entire team will be there. And I know many people in the podcast community will be attending as well. So I think we're all excited to be able to get back to an in-person event. And I feel so bad that our friends in other countries aren't going to join us, but we're excited to be at Podcast Movement.

[00:01:34] Heather Osgood: So let's get into the trends and predictions that I see for the upcoming six months of the last part of 2021. This past week, Amazon purchased Art19, making them another large company to invest heavily in the podcast space.

[00:01:52] Heather Osgood: It is certainly no secret that big business is entering this space. And it just seems that the players [00:02:00] keep doubling down on what is happening in podcasting. Now, the value this brings to the podcast space is this level of recognition. What we are doing is valuable. It's not just a small group of people or a niche group of people looking at podcasting, but these huge companies are all making waves. They're trying to get a play in the podcast space. Of course, Apple has been here for many years and is making many changes.

[00:02:32] Heather Osgood: I think the value of this is that we have the attention of larger companies. And as we have the awareness, that means we also have the dollars. And the way I see it, all of those dollars will help add to the value of the industry. Because they're going to, of course, bring with them, hopefully, new technologies, new perspectives, and just new relationships. And all of that, I believe, is super helpful for the [00:03:00] industry. 

[00:03:00] Heather Osgood: The other thing that I think is interesting when we look at these more prominent companies coming into the space is, it does change the ad landscape because they're bringing in new tools. And new technology, and maybe even not new technology, but they're bringing with them all of this knowledge that they already have within their larger organizations.

[00:03:23] Heather Osgood: I see that as really going to increase programmatic ads within the space. Programmatic ads are essentially those prerecorded ads that get automatically inserted into podcasts. I know that when Spotify purchased Megaphone at the end of 2020, they brought with them, I think, a staff of like 300 salespeople that are now working to sell podcast advertising on Spotify.

[00:03:49] Heather Osgood: So that's a massive influx of dollars that will be happening in this space because you've got all these salespeople out there trying to sell podcasts out of retail. The difference of [00:04:00] course is that they are selling them programmatically. The other thing that Spotify has is that they have all of this rich data needed in this space.

[00:04:09] Heather Osgood: So Spotify has this rich data. They can partner that with the sales team that they have. So there's this opportunity, I think, to help bring more ad dollars into the space in this programmatic way. Of course, if you have listened to this podcast, you know that I am a massive proponent of host-read endorsement ads.

[00:04:29] Heather Osgood: Now, what Spotify is doing with programmatic ads, indeed serves a purpose and has its place. And I don't think that there's anything wrong with programmatic ads, but I believe there is real value in host-read endorsement ads. 

[00:04:42] Heather Osgood: My prediction is that as we see more programmatic ads into this space, we're going to be opening the doors for other advertisers and brands to come and advertise in the space, but we are also going to be increasing the value of the host-read ad because we know the host-read ad works super [00:05:00] well. And it really, it's that endorsement, it's that influencer marketing. So, I do think the two pair well together. So my hope and prediction are that we will see an increase in rates for host-read endorsement ads, and potentially this programmatic will fill in the cracks and help us grow the revenue overall as an industry.

[00:05:20] Heather Osgood: Next, I do see that dynamic ad insertion is just going to continue to increase. If we see an increase in programmatic, of course, that has to be partnered with dynamic ad insertion. So dynamic ad insertion is the ability to insert ads within podcasts electronically.

[00:05:36] Heather Osgood: And that, again, can be a host-read ad, or it can be a prerecorded announcer-read ad, but it is a very important piece in terms of growing revenue in this space, that dynamic ad insertion technology. I see that we are going to, as an industry, need to focus on making dynamic ad insertion more effective. So when we think [00:06:00] about any advertising, it's broad reach and frequency. If you don't have a large enough reach, you're not getting results. And if you don't have a high enough frequency, you're not going to get results. Now, when we look at dynamic ad insertion, what it allows for us to do, is create this great frequency.

[00:06:18] Heather Osgood: Meaning the same person can hear the same ad or a similar ad for an advertiser multiple times. And we want that ad to happen because we know that if somebody has hit numerous times, they're more likely to make a buying decision. 

[00:06:32] Heather Osgood: The issue with dynamic ad insertion is the reach piece from my perspective. So, how many people are we reaching, and are we capping that reach? So if we have the same 20 people being hit 200 times with an ad, that does not work. So we need to make sure that we're reaching a large enough audience and giving that audience a certain number of impressions. So, I do really [00:07:00] believe that one of the challenges we're having with dynamic ad insertion in terms of increasing performance is looking at that reach piece. Now that's hard because not all hosting providers will allow us to see the reach of that particular ad. But, again, that gets back to the technology that we always talk about. And so, I would like to see hosting providers pay closer attention to giving us that reach number so that we can then come up with a calculation to get that reach and frequency dialed in to see a performance increase.

[00:07:36] Heather Osgood: But I do see that we're going to continue to increase with dynamic ad insertion, and we need to make sure that we're doing both those programmatic and those host-read ads within that dynamic ad insertion feature. 

[00:07:50] Heather Osgood: I do see that, of course, we're going to have more ad tech coming into the space. I know that it is essential for us to continue to [00:08:00] build on the metrics.

[00:08:01] Heather Osgood: Now, I think it's widespread for us to say that there aren't enough metrics in podcasting, and that's what is holding us back. The results that we're trying to get in the industry are better metrics in terms of advertising. However, I would argue that our metrics have increased substantially in the last couple of years, and I know they're just going to continue growing.

[00:08:22] Heather Osgood: So I believe that a lot of time, attention, and thought is being put into the metrics and the way the whole ad processing works within podcast advertising. And my prediction is we're going to continue to see that grow. 

[00:08:36] Heather Osgood: Lastly, I cannot. I cannot leave out attribution. Attribution has become such a significant part of podcast advertising. Now, when we're talking about attribution, we're talking about that pixel tracking that happens through companies like Podsights, Chartable, and Barometric and things like that. So, when we look at attribution, it has been around now [00:09:00] for a couple of years, and it was nice to have, definitely at the end of 2020, it was a nice to have, as we got further and further into 2021.

[00:09:11] Heather Osgood: I will say that many advertisers and agencies require attribution to place a campaign. I think that this is so important for us to look at because not all hosting providers are set up to accept attribution, or they're not set up to accept attribution, perhaps for dynamically inserted ads.

[00:09:34] Heather Osgood: So we have companies like Anchor, I know Simplecast is working on it for dynamic insertion, but it still doesn't work. Libsyn is, you know, totally anti-attribution. So we've got these different hosting companies that are not allowing for attribution tracking, which is hindering podcasters' ability to monetize because they are not accepting the importance of attribution. So when we look [00:10:00] at attribution, I know there's a privacy piece. That is something to be considered. But, I also think it's essential to look at what is happening in this space around privacy. I did a lot of research yesterday on some attribution companies, and some emerging companies are very focused on privacy. And we must consider that piece. We need the attribution modeled to see the results that these campaigns are producing. So, I believe that attribution will continue to play a significant role in the industry.

[00:10:38] Heather Osgood: Those are the predictions that I have. Hopefully, we're going to see, really, just an increase in ad sales, like we have been seeing.  I know that we have our sights set on reaching that billion-dollar mark this year. And I do think that we're going to get there, which is so very exciting. I hope that I will see you at Podcast Movement in Nashville. So I'm very excited to be there.  So make sure that you come [00:11:00] and say hi to me, and thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of the Podcast Advertising Playbook.

[00:11:06] Heather Osgood: If you'd like more information about podcast advertising, please don't hesitate to come on over to our website at TrueNativeMedia.com and fill out our contact form. Thanks so much. Have a great day. And I'll talk to you again soon.