Podcasters are pitching longer, more lucrative ads, but ad buyers prefer shorter, cheaper spots

Smaller podcast manufacturing firms and inventive studios are touting the advantages of {custom}, longer-form podcast advert codecs — understandably so, on condition that they will cost extra for them in comparison with shorter advert reads. However advert patrons from Mediahub, Horizon Media and GroupM primarily desire shopping for podcast advertisements beneath a minute lengthy as a result of they’re cheaper with out compromising attain or difficult listeners’ attentions.

On the Interactive Promoting Bureau’s Podcast Upfront final week, smaller podcast manufacturing firms like Pod Digital Media pitched the advantages of custom-branded segments. These can vary from two to a few minutes, serving as a “mini infomercial” within the podcast, stated Gary Coichy, founder and CEO of the multicultural podcast community. These advert codecs have resulted in increased engagement, conversions and model elevate than shorter podcast advertisements, Coichy stated. The common CPM for a 15-to-30-second host-read advert is $25-30, he stated, whereas Pod Digital Media can cost $75-80 for a {custom} section.

Lily Butler, director of artistic technique at Slate, pitched to advertisers at IAB’s Podcast Upfront the writer’s “branded mini options,” that are 60 to 90-second segments she described as “absolutely {custom}, extremely produced micro-documentaries that run within the center spots” of Slate’s podcasts.

And Vox Media’s branded content material studio Vox Inventive additionally sells branded segments that vary from 60 seconds to 5 minutes, “type of like a podcast section throughout the podcast,” reminiscent of an explainer {that a} model will get credit score for sponsoring in a podcast, stated Annu Subramanian, government producer of audio at Vox Inventive. A cope with HBO to advertise the ultimate season of “Silicon Valley” in 2019 featured an interview between tech journalist and “Pivot” podcast co-host Kara Swisher (who made cameos within the present) and fictional character Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), for instance.

However when chatting with advert patrons, it appears solely advertisers with massive budgets can afford to spend on {custom}, built-in, longer-form segments of their mixture of podcasting promoting. In any other case, advertisers are sticking to the 30- to 60-second advert size.

The IAB’s U.S. Podcast Promoting Income examine printed last week discovered the identical: Greater than half of the advertisements in podcasts are 16 to 30 seconds lengthy — up from 38% of podcast advert stock in 2019. This share was adopted by advertisements which might be 31 to 60 seconds lengthy, which take up 27% of podcast advert stock – down from 44% in 2019. Adverts over a minute lengthy made up solely 3% of podcast advertisements, in line with the examine — down from 9% in 2019.

A lot of the podcast advertisements Mediahub is shopping for for its purchasers are 30- to 60-second pre-roll and mid-roll advertisements, stated Jacob Schwartz, affiliate media director of nationwide audio funding on the media planning and shopping for company.

“It’s probably the most environment friendly method of shopping for podcasts,” he stated. “Primarily based on the outcomes I’m seeing, I don’t actually have any must say: we must be operating a two-minute advert learn… If we will’t get our messaging out in 60 seconds, and say: right here’s our model, right here’s what we’re doing, right here’s why you must care about us — then I feel that’s extra of a artistic challenge.”

That’s additionally the case at Horizon Media, in line with Maria Tullin, vp, managing director of superior & digital audio at Horizon Media. Producer-read, short-form advertisements are “gaining recognition” resulting from enhancements in viewers concentrating on and segmentation — the large gamers like iHeart and Spotify have even curated networks round viewers demographics (reminiscent of iHeart’s podcast networks Black Impact and My Cultura), Tullin stated.

Because the business strikes away from host-read, baked-in advertisements — it’s additionally shifting away from advertisements that might naturally go over 60 seconds as a bunch talked a few model as a part of the podcast present, Tullin stated. “I don’t really feel like that’s occurring fairly as a lot because it was except you’re shopping for sponsorship [segments],” she stated.

Jen Soch, government director of channel options at GroupM, stated host-read advertisements which might be 30 seconds lengthy are nonetheless “most popular and the commonest.” 

“Extra individuals want to get a bigger viewers on podcasts — podcast budgets are rising, there’s extra of an curiosity in that attain quantity, which lends itself to extra of the 30-second communication,” she stated.

Longer-form {custom} integrations in podcasts may turn out to be “cost-prohibitive in a short time,” relying on the writer, present and expertise you’re working with — one more reason Mediahub doesn’t spend rather a lot on this advert format, Schwartz stated.

For instance: “If I’ve a $500,000 podcast funds and I can get 10 million impressions out of that and it’s going to price me $250,000 for a podcast that does 150,000 downloads a month — is it value it to take half of my funds, lose half my attain and put that with a smaller podcast to do an even bigger integration? With some manufacturers, it really works; with some manufacturers, it doesn’t,” Schwartz stated.

It’s not essentially that CPMs are increased, however {custom} integrations require the next minimal spend from advertisers, he stated. For instance, if a writer requires an advertiser to spend at the least $100,000 to run host-read advertisements in a podcast marketing campaign, the writer could ask for at the least $500,000 for a {custom} integration (relying on the expertise and the podcast), Schwartz stated. Soch stated the identical: the difficulty is just not increased CPMs, however “general funding ranges are extra vital.”

“Some manufacturers solely have a $500,000 funds at any given time to work with. So is it value it? To sink all of that cash into one section with one podcast? Most likely not,” Schwartz stated. As an alternative, it might be more practical to run shorter advertisements that price much less throughout extra podcasts, he stated.

Nonetheless, it would make extra sense for manufacturers which have massive budgets and might allocate a few of their podcast advert spend to longer-form, {custom} segments with out sacrificing attain in shorter spots that may scale, Schwartz stated. Adverts over a minute lengthy may additionally work for a sponsored section, reminiscent of an interview with a bunch or a narrative a few model, Tullin stated.

However the draw back of longer advertisements is the chance of shedding viewers curiosity — and, once more, the fee, Schwartz stated. “While you get above 60 seconds, you must additionally take into consideration the consumer expertise. Does somebody actually need to sit by way of a two-minute advert? Most likely not,” he stated. 

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