Friday, February 27, 2015

Will Podcast 'Golden Age' Unlock Brand Advertising Budgets? Slate Introducing Podcast Network Panoply

Since the first airing of “Serial”, a podcast that describes a 1999 crime, it has racked up nearly 72 million downloads. US podcast consumption has risen, partly due to this podcast, 18% between spring and fall of 2014, according to Edison Research. Americans are consuming 21 million hours of podcasts daily.
This has been hailed by the New York magazine as the “great podcast renaissance”.

Before “Serial”, podcast ad spending was forecast to remain at a mere $34 million annually through 2016, and 80% of these ads prompt listeners to visit a website or call an 800 toll-free number. There is a resurgence of interest in podcast advertising, as content makers improve the quality and quantity of podcast material.

According to the Adage article, this renewed interest could inspire brand advertisers to devote a bigger portion of their budget to podcasting. This shift is expected to fuel greater demand for media companies as well as celebrities to meet the demand. Companies that build podcasting networks would also benefit, such as PodcastOne, which aggregates and sells ads against more than 200 podcasts. Slate is also announcing the launch of Panoply, its own podcasting network.
Slate produces 15 podcasts with a monthly download of 6.5 million, and is aiming to produce podcasts for other media companies. Ads will be the monetization vehicle for these podcasts.

Despite the renewed interest in podcasts, there are concerns that keep advertisers on the wary side. First is the audience size. Podcasts do not attract the large audiences that advertisers target. Consumer data is also difficult to obtain, such as demographics about the audience.

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