By investing in the native podcast market, brands can now reach large but perfectly targeted, highly qualified and, above all, engaged audiences – all while maintaining control over the media that is conveying their image. Let’s take a look.
At the beginning of January, there were almost 1,750,000 podcasts available worldwide, on all platforms combined. Native podcasts – programmes created specifically for this medium – now stand out in this market. Today, the average listener listens to 7 different podcasts per month, according to the Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Database.
For Podcast Pioneers director Katharine Kerr, this is no surprise: brand spending on digital audio will continue to grow at a steady pace this year. The rapid, massive adoption of podcasting, thanks to smartphones and 5G networks, is expected to quickly reach US$1 billion in revenue by the end of 2021: “This presents unprecedented new opportunities for advertisers to talk to this target audience,” Kerr explains in a post.
As of 2020, there were over 15 million podcast listeners in the UK. Reach is growing steadily as the popularity of podcasts increases, with forecasts predicting close to 20 million listeners in the UK by 2024. (Statista; Statista Advertising & Media Outlook survey July 31, 2020)
“This now puts us in a prime position to offer advertisers a selection of podcasts to draw from directly, enabling them to address a highly engaged, brand-aligned, qualified audience,” says Adam Pattison, Managing Director of Targetspot UK.
Podcast creators are the new influencers
The podcasting industry is expected to exceed US$1 billion for the first time in 2021. eMarketer estimates that the number of listeners will grow by 16% this year. The market is crowded with powerful publishers and networks, including media companies jumping on the bandwagon.
The transformation of CBC content in Canada
Strongly influenced by its neighbour to the south, Canada quickly saw the potential of podcasts to support the digital transformation in radio listening. Five years ago, CBC launched the first episode of its original crime podcast “Someone Knows Something” on the Apple platform. It was an immediate success. The title quickly topped the national podcast charts in Canada, and went around the world at the same time. When it was launched in 2016, it was only the third original podcast produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Société Radio-Canada), after Campus and Back Story.
For the Director of Programming, Leslie Merklinger, the introduction of native podcasts was an obvious choice early in her tenure: “We adopted a digital-first strategy to reach our audience where they are today. Everyone knows that radio programmes had been available as podcasts for many years. The next step was to create non-linear programmes, original podcasts, distributed on digital platforms.“
CBC is developing an arsenal of new native podcasts in 2021, covering all the most popular themes: news, sports, science, music, children, culture, comedy, science, as well as original series and thrillers. As a result, there are now more than 100 podcasts available for free, including local editions.
Among the titles packaged within our Targetspot Marketplace inventory are hit podcasts such as “Tai Asks Why”, questions about life by a 14 year old, and “Brainwashed”, a gripping account of CIA mind control experiments. CBC also publishes the science programme “The Dose”, “Pop Chat”, a programme where cultural news is treated in a relaxed manner, and “Tony Ho”, a gritty comedy. It’s a diverse inventory, where listeners and brands find each other according to their interests.
The triumph of original podcasts: Audioboom
The Audioboom group is now the 5th largest podcast publisher in the United States. Quite an accolade for the British group, which has nearly 11 million downloads per week, a phenomenal 55% increase since its integration into the Triton Digital statistical tool in May 2020.
Its original content offering has been further enhanced in recent months, with rising stars such as Truth vs Hollywood, Huddled Masses, Crime Weekly, as well as shows such as An Hour Or So With… Sue Perkins and the 2nd season of What Makes A Killer. For Brendan Regan, the company’s Executive Vice President, Content and Production, “there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing podcasts return for a second season after a successful run. It is in this spirit that we are developing new original creations.”
Spreaker: podcast creation and monetisation
Launched in 2010 and acquired in 2018 by Voxnest, Spreaker is one of the major North American podcast distributors today. What makes it unique is that it has been transformed from a podcast listening application into a podcasting creation, distribution and monetisation tool.
Spreaker not only has a listening application, available on iOS and Android, but also a tool for creating podcasts via your computer, smartphone or tablet, for recording and editing, and even with the ability to conduct interviews via Skype. The New York-based company hosts a large number of original English-language creations – including Curly Conspiracies, Indie Interviews and Her American Story – as well as podcasts in other languages, such as Bulles Nomades and La 3e personne in French.
How brands should position themselves on native podcasts
The native podcast connects hundreds of advertisers with millions of engaged, passionate consumers. Thousands of individual podcasts can be accessed directly on the Targetspot Podcast platform.
There are three steps to advertising in a native podcast:
- Category selection: segmentation and individual categorisation according to more than 30 criteria;
- Approval of a whitelist to guarantee brand safety and duplication;
- Purchasing via brand DSP or the Targetspot Marketplace inventory.