Despite Growth, Podcast Advertising Struggles to Attract Big Brands
When Serial blew up over a year ago, it was obvious podcast advertising was on its way to big things. Since then, podcast listening has exploded to the point where 17% of people over 12 listen to at least one podcast every month, up from 9% the year before. Culturally, the impact can be seen well outside of podcasting. Thanks to Serial, every television producer has been wringing their hands to put out a true crime series (I’m looking at you HBO and Netflix).
Despite all that growth, major brand advertisers are still at bay. This issue is that podcasts suffer from a reporting problem. For the most part, the only data that gets collected is the little amounts provided by the podcaster, her or himself. Where TV and radio have Nielsen to prove viewership, podcasts really don’t have an established system of measurement, which scares off major advertisers. On top of that, a small group of publishers dominates the majority of the space. The top 10 publishers accounted for 110 million downloads. However, that is 40% of all podcast downloads, so it’s also hard for advertisers to spread money out throughout the industry.
Curious just how small podcast advertising spend is compared to that of more established and measurable mediums? The image above should illustrate just that.
Grammy Awards’ Ratings Hit a Seven Year Low
It appears that “award season” is not as popular as it once was. Last week the Grammys recorded the lowest viewership in seven years. Ad Age chalked it up to a few high profile no-shows, like Rihanna who decided not to come at the last second or Kanye West who would only show up if the album he just released won the top award (for which it was not nominated). But Kanye should know better than anyone that albums released for free cannot be Grammy nominated (He should know because it says so in his record). While free albums make a minority of albums listened to each year, their popularity is growing and they are indicative of a rapidly changing music listening landscape. Changing music listeners could mean people are becoming less and less interested in an antiquated award show that represents an older system.
Either way, the gauntlet has been laid for the Oscars, which are this Sunday and they will be trying to gain back viewers they have been losing for years. Last year’s Oscars saw a 15% drop in viewership. New controversy with the Academy may help influence the audience size. But even if it brings in a bigger audience, it won’t help save their image as a similarly antiquated award show representing an old system.
Twitter is Making Life Easier for Customer Service Teams
Twitter announced another product change to help increase their appeal to brands. Brands can now include “Send a Private Message” button on their tweets to have a more direct interaction with them. Twitter was already a go-to place for CS teams, but this should save teams from having awkward conversations to set up a DM conversation. Also included in the update is a feature that asks customers to provide feedback for their interaction with brands. Brands like Bank Of America and Starbucks are already on board.
Media Partner of the Week: WNYC
WNYC is both New York/New Jersey’s oldest public radio station and the producer of some of the country’s most popular podcasts (RadioLab, Freakonomics, and Death, Sex, & Money).
Benefiting directly from what they identify as the “Golden Age of Radio,” WNYC has been able to expand on its localized footprint and propel its roster of shows forward through well-funded content explorations with Dean Cappello as Chief Content Officer. WNYC’s roster of shows includes Snap Judgment, a witty show examining technology, free speech, and politics in the media, Studio 360, a smart guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts, and The Takeaway, a daily mid-day news program that invites listeners to be part of the American conversation.
Want evidence that they’re tailoring their offering for the digital age? WNYC just came out with an app (download here). It has a feature called “Discover” that curates playlists based on your preferred topic list and schedule.
If you’re interested in more shows on their roster, here are a few more that we recommend: Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin, Note to Self, and The Sporkful.
This Week in Social: Chamillionaire & J.K. Rowling become Twitter Besties
Back in early January, J.K. Rowling was accused of supporting misogynists by a Scottish Parliament member, Natalie McGarry. After being pressed for evidence, McGarry deleted all of her tweets regarding the accusations. Rowling took it as an opportunity to brush them haters off with the most clever response ever.
It was so good in fact, that the originator of the line, Chamillionaire, responded. Which then resulted in the best internet fistbump of all time and Twitter going bananas.