The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released the “IAB Podcast Playbook,” the organization’s first-ever buyer’s guide for podcast advertising, which provides insights into audience demographics, listener behaviors, creative treatments, ad formats, delivery and targeting, and ad effectiveness measurement.
Recent IAB research conducted by PwC forecasts that podcast advertising revenues will top $220 million in 2017, an 85 percent leap from $119 million in 2016. The playbook features other research that confirms the mainstreaming of podcasts, showing that nearly a quarter of the U.S. population over age 12 listens to podcasts on a monthly basis and, on average, they subscribe to six podcasts a week.
Smartphones are the primary device used for listening to podcasts, in sync with broader connected mobile lifestyles where audio is playing an increasingly central role. Consumption is frequently on the move, as podcasts are popular with commuters, who choose to listen online or off, whether going to or from work. Consumers also frequently listen to podcasts while doing chores at home, exercising at the gym, or traveling.
Other facts, figures, and observations compiled from various sources include:
- Podcast listeners skew young (44% are under 34), are educated, wealthy, and likely to be business influencers
- Podcasting’s “lean forward” listening experience leads to strong responsiveness, with two-thirds of listeners citing high brand recall and nearly the same number saying that podcast ads inspired a purchase
- Podcast advertising is versatile, offering both brand and response-driven marketing strategies, and a wide variety of ad options—from native and host-read ads to dynamically inserted, standardized ad units
“This playbook will serve as a go-to reference guide to help brand marketers understand podcasts and effectively steer more ad dollars toward opportunities that will deliver in terms of audience reach,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB. “In an industry where explosive growth and dramatic change have been endemic, podcasts are having a standout moment. We want to educate marketers on the unique and valuable benefits of advertising on the medium.”
“Podcasts create an especially intimate space for listeners to engage with content because these listeners have made an active choice to download or stream,” said Harry Clark, Executive Vice President, Market Enginuity, and Co-Chair of the IAB Podcast Playbook Working Group, which produced the guide. “This guide provides advertisers with concise, illuminating insights to the potential of podcasts as an effective ad channel, in terms of podcast audiences, their responsiveness, and the flexibility of the medium’s delivery options.”
“As podcasting continues to grow in popularity, marketers are increasingly eager to learn how to best leverage the medium to promote their brands,” said Lex Friedman, Chief Revenue Officer, Midroll Media, and Co-Chair of the IAB Podcast Playbook Working Group. “And since podcasts are mobile and on-demand, brands are learning there’s no better way to reach the audiences they’re after. This playbook provides marketers with the information they need to conduct more meaningful and informed discussions with their agencies or directly with podcast publishers to tap into podcasts’ tremendous opportunity and reach.”
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