Why advertisers are spending more on podcasts

An Advertiser Perceptions report shows marketers feel the medium is safe and has strong target audience potential.

Advertisers are increasingly investing in podcasts as the pandemic boosts their audience, according to a report from Advertiser Perceptions.  

The research, based on interviews with 205 advertisers last October, shows 56% agree the pandemic has made podcast advertising more important, and 63% listen to podcasts themselves at least once a week.  

The interest in the medium is largely due to familiarity, brand safety and target audience potential, said Sarah Bolton, EVP of business intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions, as 72% of respondents said podcasts’ target audience is a draw and 68% value the medium’s brand safety. 

Yet while advertisers are comfortable with podcasts, according to the report, metrics are an area of concern, as podcast advertising does not deliver as much campaign measurement and reporting.  

Sixty percent of respondents said they want better third-party verification and two-thirds said they are dissatisfied with campaign-measurement metrics.  

The latter issue is expected to be exacerbated by the phasing out of third-party cookies and identifiers for advertisers through Apple’s iOS14.  

“Micro campaign metrics are going to be harder to capture in general,” Bolton explained. “So there's this movement toward looking at incrementality or sales during the campaign period. There are attribution solutions that don't rely on individual tracking.”

Advertisers currently prefer to buy podcast ad space by audience segment over other options like genre, series or episode. An eMarketer report found podcast ad spending is expected to jump 45% this year.  

Bolton added that data providers are working closely with advertisers to encourage them to look at metrics holistically. 

Podcasts are also popular with advertisers seeking brand-safe and high-engagement platforms. According to the report, 73% percent of advertisers feel podcasts improve brand favorability and 66% think they boost brand awareness and recall. 

“What's interesting about podcasts is that it's not a new medium; there have been podcasts for 15 years,” Bolton said. “But it's finally reached this inflection point and scale with the acquisitions going on through Spotify, Pandora and Amazon that’s telling us this is a hot space.” 

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