Tag Archives: IAB

US Podcast Ad Revenues Grew 19% in 2020

According to IAB’s U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Study, prepared by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and released at the IAB 2021 Podcast Upfront, podcast advertising will grow as much in the next two years as it did in the past decade.

Driven by a particularly strong fourth quarter (+37% YoY), podcast advertising revenues climbed to $842 million in 2020, up from $708 million in the year prior.

“Podcasting will grow in the next two years by leaps and bounds,” said Eric John, Vice President, IAB Media Center. “Podcast listeners have shown that – even when working from home – podcasts are a preferred medium. Advertisers are benefiting from new technologies developed to serve these marketplaces, to make podcast advertising more dynamic and measurable than ever before.”

Podcast publishers were well-positioned for the quick pivot, with the leading audio platforms steadily investing in new content and buyer-friendly ad tech. In particular messaging agility, enabled by dynamic ad insertion, made podcasting especially attractive in an unpredictable year. Marketers valued the ability to quickly switch out messaging as-needed: dynamically-inserted ads, which enable ad placement at the point of listener download, increased share of revenue from 48% to 67% year over year. Announcer-read / pre-produced ads, which also put more control in buyers’ hands, increased share from 27% to 35%. Host-read continues to represent over half of the revenue by ad type, which illustrates buyers’ desire to tap the direct, influential relationship creators have with their listeners.

Perhaps the most important shift is that brand advertising (45% of 2020 revenue) is approaching parity with direct response (51% of 2020 revenue). Bigger brands are discovering that podcast advertising can work across the sales funnel.

Additional highlights:

  • At 76%, mid-roll spot placements continued to account for three-fourths (76%) of revenues.
  • Half of podcast ads lasted longer than 30 seconds in length. Seller Perspective: Longer ads allow for creative storytelling.
  • News continued to be the top content genre for podcast advertisers (22% market share.) Seller Perspective: Advertisers should be leaning-in to News.
  • Direct-To-Consumer brands maintained the top advertiser category market share (19%), while Pharmaceuticals more than doubled in share YoY (9%). Seller Perspective: Bigger brands are buying in.

“The big takeaway from consumer behavior pre, during, and post pandemic is that podcasting has tremendous growth ahead. Consumers love listening and will integrate it into they live whenever it fits. Advertisers love the flexibility to adjust their messaging on the fly. And most importantly, brands are continuing to shift to podcasting simply because it works: when they run an ad, the cash register rings,” said John.

For the IAB Full-Year 2020 U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Report, click HERE.

IAB Tech Lab Releases Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.1

IAB Tech Lab has released the Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.1 for public comment for a 30-day period which began on December 2, 2020, and lasts until December 31, 2020. Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines are standard metrics for both podcast content and podcast ads to provide marketplace clarity through a common language for measurement.

With the podcast industry’s significant growth, and ad revenue projected to reach $1 billion in the U.S. for 2020, there is a need to keep pace with market needs and provide further clarification of the Measurement Guidelines. The IAB Tech Lab Podcast Technical Working Group put together the latest updates on industry best practices to reduce measurement discrepancies and provide a set of recommended metrics and guidelines across the podcast marketplace.

The IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.1 have significant updates over the current version, which was last updated in 2017. They include a new section with guidance on user agent structure, recommendations for IPv6 IP addresses, filtering guidance for Apple WatchOS user agents, and a number of additional podcast player recommendations.

“The podcast industry has remained vibrant during the global pandemic. Podcast listeners are loyal and highly engaged which makes them an appealing target for marketers”, said Shailley Singh, Vice President, Product and Global Programs, IAB Tech Lab. “However, this medium is currently under-utilized due to industry challenges around a commonly agreed-upon set of metrics. The IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines is designed to address this by creating a consistent set of podcast advertising metrics so buyers and sellers can engage in a conversation about campaign strategy with confidence.”

“The changes to the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines v2.1 are the result of hours of conversation, collaboration, and research among podcast industry leaders across a range of topics most notably with respect to guidance for podcast app developers,” said Robert Freeland, Co-Founder and CTO, Podtrac. “The IAB Tech Lab Podcast Technical Working Group continues to iterate on its standards to provide the market with the most accurate and consistent data.”

Steve Mulder, Senior Director of Audience Insights, NPR, added, “Podcasting continued to grow in 2020 despite the COVID-19 disruptions to all of our lives, reinforcing the power of this medium to connect with audiences. With this continued growth, it is vital to accurately measure podcasting effectiveness, and that’s why the updates to the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines matter. These updates ensure podcast metrics can be trusted by publishers and advertisers for making key investment decisions in this powerful medium.”

IAB Tech Lab Podcast Technical Working Group Co-Chairs Include Steve Mulder, Senior Director of Audience Insights, NPR, and Robert Freeland, Co-Founder and CTO, Podtrac.

To review the proposed standard and provide feedback, please go to: https://iabtechlab.com/standards/podcast-measurement-guidelines/

Buzzsprout Receives IAB Tech Lab Certification

Buzzsprout, one of the world’s largest platforms, announced that they have secured IAB Tech Lab certification for podcast measurement compliance. This certification further verifiers Buzzsprout’s years of investment to ensure that its customers’ download, listener, and delivery metrics are accurate.

The IAB Tech Lab’s certification process verifies that companies, like Buzzsprout, are following the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.0 that establish a set of uniform principles for advertising metrics in podcasting. These standards aim to unify the podcast community around a universal and consistent measurement system.

“Buzzsprout has been an industry leader in podcast measurement for years,” said Tom Rossi, Co-Founder, Buzzsprout. “Working through the code audit and carrying our metrics without any adjustments to our implementation was indeed validating, but more importantly our customers will not see any drop in their numbers and now have the official IAB Tech Lab verified seal of compliance behind them.”

Since Buzzsprout was founded in 2009, it has been at the forefront of the movement to ensure podcast downloads and other critical metrics are accurate. IAB Tech Lab certification is Buzzsprout’s latest step in validating those efforts.

Podbean Completed IAB Tech Lab Certification

Podbean announced that has completed IAB Tech Lab Podcast Measurement Independent Certification. Podbean can be found on the list of compliant companies, with the link to Podbean’s full report which covers download, listener, and ad delivery metrics.

According to IAB Tech Lab, “The IAB Tech Lab Podcast Measurement Compliance Program certifies that companies are adhering to the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines, released in December 2017. These guidelines establish a common set of ad metrics for podcasts and a base set of principles that any measurement system should support.” This helps to address industry challenges such as lack of uniformity in measurement systems and how metrics are defined.

“The official IAB Tech Lab certification reassures advertisers about the standardization of data provided by podcasts using Podbean’s PodAds dynamic ad insertion and Ads Marketplace,” says David Xu, CEO of Podbean. “In our continued effort to maximize monetization opportunities for our podcasters, this is an important step to help them attract more advertisers.”

Blubrry Podcasting Becomes First Podcast Hosting Company to Receive IAB Podcast Measurement Certification

Blubrry Podcasting recently made history as the first podcast-hosting service provider to have its podcast stats certified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab for Podcast Measurement Compliance.

“This is the gold standard. There is no substitution to certification of compliance,” said Todd Cochrane, Blubrry CEO. “Ad buyers, networks, podcast hosting platforms, and podcasters now have an audited, validated, certified platform ready to serve them.”

Blubrry, which has been providing podcasting podcast statistics since 2005, was one of several organizations taking part in the extensive independent auditing and certification process based on the standards within IAB’s Podcast Measurement Guidelines. National Public Radio, a nonprofit membership media organization, was also certified.

As part of IAB’s Podcast Technical Working Group, Blubrry and 31 other podcast and traditional media companies contributed to the Podcast Measurement Guidelines, released December 2017, that provide strict rules and guidelines as the basis of certification, including downloads, listens, advertising delivery and advertisement play.

As of today, Blubrry Enterprise customers are able to label their podcast statistics as IAB Certified to be in compliance with the Podcast Measurement Guidelines. Blubrry Hosting customers and those shows using the Blubrry redirect with other platforms will quickly follow (as outlined in this blog post). Blubrry customers should expect no changes to their metrics as the certified platform system has been in place since 2013.

Unlike other providers, Blubrry podcast statistics are platform agnostic, meaning statistics services are not limited to Blubrry hosting customers. This has given Blubrry valuable insights on numerous areas in podcasting, with tens of thousands of shows being measured since 2005.

IAB Released Version 2.0 of the Podcast Measurement Guidelines

IAB published the Podcast Measurement Guidelines last year. Those guidelines provided the first true industry-wide guidelines for measuring ad deliveries in podcasts. This year, IAB published the IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines Version 2.0.

The new guidelines provide a recommended process for generating audience and downloading metrics, with information on:

  • Filtering for uniqueness
  • Eliminating pre-load requests
  • Eliminating potential bots and bogus requests
  • Applying thresholds for what gets counted
  • And more best practices.

The Version 2.0 guidelines are long and detailed and well worth reading. The document was developed by the IAB Tech Lab Podcast Technical Working Group, which was led by Steve Mulder (NPR) and Amit Shetty (IAB Tech Lab) The Group included:

  • Acast Stories USA
  • AdGear Technolgies, Inc.
  • AdLarge Media
  • Adswizz Inc
  • Art19
  • Audible.com
  • BlogTalkRadio
  • CBS Local
  • Cox Media Group
  • Cyber Communications Inc.
  • Digital Advertising Consortium Inc.
  • DoubleVerify
  • ESPN.com
  • Libsyn
  • Midroll Media
  • Minnesota Public Radio
  • NPR
  • New York Public Radio
  • Nielsen
  • Pacific Content
  • Pandora
  • PodcastOne
  • Podtrac
  • RawVoice/Blubrry
  • RhythmOne
  • Sizmek
  • Slate
  • Triton Digital
  • Westwood One
  • WideOrbit
  • Wondery

IAB Releases Podcast Ad Metrics Guidelines

IAB logoThere’s been a lot of talk surrounding podcasting metrics lately. Some would say the state of measuring podcasts is a “Wild West” of varying methods with no centralized protocols. Others would say that they’ve had proven processes in place for years to accurately measure the audience of their podcasts. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has been working diligently to bridge the gap between these two mindsets. The organization made a big step forward earlier this week when it released its Podcast Ad Metrics Guidelines:

This document provides an introduction to tracking ad delivery in a podcast and attempts to provide clarity in the marketplace by describing common and existing practices. It breaks down some of the technical details of content and ad delivery and then defines the commonly used metrics, with some examples on how to measure those metrics. While we expect this document to be updated further as the market develops, we believe that this will help buyers, publishers, and the developers of technology by guiding them toward a common language.

The guidelines were released in the form of a downloadable 14-page PDF. A long list of contributing organizations, including ESPN, Midroll, LibSyn, Rawvoice, PodcastOne, NPR, and more, helped to finalize the rules set forth in the document. The guidelines contain much more information than we can cover in one blog post. But it’s definitely worth a read (especially the appendix section in the last few pages) if you’d like to know more about the technical aspects of podcast download measurement.

To see how some noteworthy representatives in the podcasting space reacted to the IAB document, check out this article from Radio Ink.

IAB Podcast Upfront Planned for September

IAB logoThe term “upfront” comes from the television industry. Upfronts are meetings that are usually held a few months before a new TV season is about to begin. In these meetings, TV networks commune with potential sponsors to hammer out advertising deals for the coming season. Thus, giving those ad buyers the ability to purchase their ad spots “upfront.” In September, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) will hold its first ever podcast upfronts in New York.

IAB’s upfront will be a one-day event that will consist of a series of presentations as well as a “celebrity keynote speaker” that has yet to be announced. The following companies are scheduled to attend the upfront:

  • NPR
  • WNYC
  • Panoply
  • Podtrac
  • AdLarge
  • Midroll

IAB is hoping this event will drum up more interest in the medium of podcasting as a solid platform for advertising. IAB is also hoping to attract ad buyers from both the traditional radio space and the digital media space. Representatives from both groups are often tasked with buying podcast ads, which is unique to podcasting’s position of being a purely digital medium that often (especially in the case of NPR) repurposes radio broadcasts.

You can learn more about IAB’s upfront event and request an invite at the IAB website.