Podcast News

Issue 6: July 6th, 2017

A New Study of the Podcast Ad Industry

IAB released an in-depth study: Podcast Ad Revenue Study: An Analysis of the Largest Players in the Podcasting Industry. PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted the study, with financial support from several of the largest companies in podcasting, including Acast, Authentic, Gimlet, HowStuffWorks, Market Enginuity, Midroll, Panoply, Public Media Marketing, and Wondery.

The timing is interesting, as it brings further validity to the hypothesis of last issue’s feature, “The Podcasting Industry is About to Become More Profitable.” There seems to have been an avalanche of proof like this recently, and this study is perhaps the most official and verified study we now have to point to in the industry

One point that is important to keep in mind is that this study was conducted on the largest players in the podcasting industry. This is an industry where both large and small players can thrive, but findings will vary to a large degree between the two. So keep that in mind.

Some of the key findings:

  • Podcast advertising revenue has increased steadily, growing 228%, on a quarterly basis, between Q1 2015 and Q4 2016.
  • Dynamically inserted ads went from 37% of delivered ads in 2015 to 56% of delivered ads in 2016 (this, especially, is skewed because of the specific portion of the industry being studied. Dynamic insertion is getting very common among top podcasts, but is very unusual among smaller shows).
  • While direct response is still by far the most popular campaign type, brand awareness campaigns grew from 17% to 25% of podcast ad campaigns from 2015 to 2016.

Anchor Enters the Podcast Hosting Space

Anchor rolled out an update to its app that allows users of the platform to use their Anchor station to not only contribute content to a podcast RSS feed, but also to initially set up that podcast feed on platforms like iTunes and Google Play.

For those unfamiliar: Anchor is one of the few platforms currently attempting to become the social media audio platform of the future. Think of it as “Snapchat for audio.” Users record small chunks of audio (5 minutes or less), can add instrumentation underneath, add small transitional sound bites in between 5 minute clips, and can even pull in songs from Spotify and Apple Music. This is all added to the user’s “station,” and the audio is available there for 24 hours, after which it disappears from the station.

As of the latest update, users can select from their uploaded clips during the 24 hours they are on the “station,” and add to them to an “episode” which can be accessed even beyond the 24-hour time limit. In addition, a user can very easily setup a podcast RSS feed, which Anchor will submit to the normal podcast directories, and all past and ongoing episodes created will automatically be added to that podcast as traditional podcast episodes.

An in-depth write-up of Anchor as a platform was planned for next week, before Anchor threw a wrench into that plan by giving us such a huge update specific to podcasting. However, expect the full review next week.

For now, we went through the process of creating a podcast in Anchor, and I think it is definitely the easiest, simplest way to set up a podcast.

That said, for anyone serious about podcasting, the drawbacks to actually using Anchor as a hosting platform are too many for it to be considered serious competition for platforms like Libsyn, as analytics are almost non-existent and the time constraints are unbearable. But they aren’t really attempting to compete here, and some podcasts have started using their Anchor station as supplemental material to their podcast, a very interesting and exciting concept.

For someone wanting to get their audio thoughts out to the universe, Anchor is an interesting platform, and for someone wanting to repurpose those thoughts as a podcast, Anchor has now provided a very easy and simple solution.

Like I said, full write-up next week…