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This past August there was the DigitalLatest Conference at Industry City, Brooklyn. David Rosenberg, head of business development at Giphy, talked about the rapid growth in popularity of short-form content: 3-second gifs that often convey meaning and emotions, like different types of love or humor, more effectively, memorably and virally than words, and short-form, 6-second ads that have become widely adopted.
Lex Friedman, chief business development officer at Midroll Media, the largest global podcast content producer and a pioneer in the field, talked about the explosive growth of long-form podcast listening over the past 12 years to an estimated 67 million people in 2017, approximately the same number that listen to Twitter on a monthly basis. The average podcast is 45 minutes and the average podcast ad is 90 seconds… much longer than traditional ads. A remarkable attentiveness measure according to Edison Research, is that 85% of people who listen to podcasts, listen to the end.
Midroll just passed a big milestone. Their milestone signals the accepetance of podcasting as a marketing tool. Podcast listening seems to be habit forming. According to the 2017 Edison Research study, the average podcast listener listened to five podcasts per week.
Because most podcast ads are:
– Ready by the host of the show, someone the listeners have chosen to listen to.
– Much longer than other ads, with more content and information
– Not as easy to skip
traditional ad evaluation and effectiveness scores tend to be high relative to other forms of advertising, for important metrics such as:
- Aided and unaided recall
- Key message registration
- Percent of people listening to the entire message
What’s Behind Podcast Growth and Why It’s Expected to Continue
Podcast growth tends to happen in a cycle and it aligns with important trends:
- It’s perfect for on-demand, content binge consumption, something places like Netflix and Hulu have trained users to understand.
- You get to listen to what you want when you want.
- Ad revenue is growing rapidly.
- With an average of only 4 minutes of advertising in an hour vs. 16 for TV, there is less annoying ad clutter and less reason to try to ad-block, or leave to do something else while the ad is running.
- Podcast CPM's average $24 according to Bridge Ratings. While these aren't low relative to other media options, the ROI must be positive, judging by repeat usage of the platform by more and more brands.
Why Podcast Listening Is Expected to Keep Growing
- Many new cars (where a lot of podcast listening happens) will have internet connections. This will make the podcast download process much quicker for the user.
- New phones and computers will have a podcast button that can synchronize with your car’s internet or Apple Watch, enabling you to start on one device and continue where you left off on another.
- You will more readily be able to access podcasts from apps on many smart devices.
- The new Apple watchOS5 brings Apple’s podcast app to the watch for the first time and the speaker is louder, which will make it easier to hear and more satisfying to listen to podcasts.
Major brands are jumping on the ship with their own podcasts. For those brands that have not already jumped in, it might be worth a try. This will lead more people to listen to podcasts as they try to support their favorite brands.