23% of podcast fans made a purchase after listening – new playbook by IAB offers guidance on podcast advertising

With almost a quarter of the US population listening to podcasts each month, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released its first Podcast Playbook to guide marketers in their podcast ad campaigns.

85% of podcast listening now happens on mobile devices. That means audiences can be reached irrespective of their location during business hours, but also whilst commuting and during the evening.

For advertisers, it’s a prime opportunity to reach audiences with targeted content. Indeed, research by Midroll found that among podcast listeners, 67% could name an actual product whilst 61% had made a purchase of a product they had heard on a podcast.

Similarly, research by comScore/Wondery found that podcast ads were favourable in terms of consumer impression. 68% of consumers took action, whilst 31% searched for additional information and 29% visited a website. Importantly, 23% made a purchase online and 17% purchased in-store following a podcast ad.

Interestingly, the average number of podcasts that listeners tune into appears to increase each year. Recent data from Edison Research found that avid listeners were subscribing to six podcasts a week.

The measurement of advertising effectiveness in podcasts typically relies on direct response including offer codes and URLs or phone numbers. These allow advertisers to track sales and website visits.

When it comes to ad formats, podcasts usually come with a variety of choices such as host announcements, endorsements or branded podcast series.

Typically, ad campaigns rely on a CPM model based on the number of downloads of an episode. As such, an episode that gets downloaded 50,000 times, is considered to have 50,000 impressions. Alternatively, downloads can be estimated. In addition, some transact podcasts on a 100% Share of Voice sponsorship of the content, whereby the advertiser provides all the content represented in an episode.

The report concludes:

Podcast advertising offers marketers flexibility and unique options in creative execution to connect with an impassioned and engaged listener in a low clutter environment where their message will stand out. These elements create an excellent environment for both branding and results oriented ad campaigns. Podcast advertising ROI is high as evidenced by the most data advanced Direct Response Advertisers who today make up the majority of podcast revenue. As listening continues to grow and better data becomes available, more brand advertisers will place their confidence in the medium further bolstering the industry. The future is bright for podcasts, and the advertisers who utilize the medium’s compelling opportunities.