Branded Podcasts Grow Exponentially
IAB research didn’t even measure branded podcast revenue in 2015. Now, this aspect of the audio marketing channel is seeing a lot of brand love. Recently, branded podcasts earned a deep-dive look from Fast Company regarding what marketers are doing to earn consumer affection and turn them into customers.
On March 5, Melissa Locker summarized for the magazine that “Branded Podcasts Are The Ads People Actually Want To Listen To.”
IAB research shows the channel, including branded podcasts, saw $69 million in revenue in 2015. That grew to $220 million in 2017. The June 2017 study showed that branded podcasts represented 2 percent of the podcast campaign types in 2016, during its debut. The report doesn’t show figures for 2017. Direct response ads within podcasts were still the main type, at 73 percent.
“The IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study proves two things — the whole world is listening, and brands are taking notice,” said Randall Rothenberg, IAB’s president and CEO, in the research announcement. “From the remarkable growth of podcast ad revenue, we’re seeing an ancient axiom being proved yet again: great rewards go to those who surprise and delight their fellow humans.”
Here’s how Locker says marketers are mastering branded podcasts:
Customers don’t want to hear a giant call to action. Educate them. Entertain them. Pique their curiosity, then satiate their appetites.
Blue Apron has been a big advertiser in the podcast space since the audio boom started. When they wanted to share more of their company’s story and ethos and enhance their connection to consumers, they decided to create a branded series, resulting in their engaging show, Why We Eat What We Eat. The show, hosted by author and food historian Cathy Erway, looks at everything from picky eating to the origins of duck sauce. It’s entertaining and informative and perfectly proves the point that when branded podcasts are executed well, consumers want to listen — even though in many ways they are listening to a 30-minute advertisement.
Master a Niche Topic
Target Marketing’s been sharing marketing podcasts with its audience since 2006. In January 2017, we launched our latest, “Marketing Garage,” that focused on just one thing: The intersection of marketing strategy and technology:
Marketing Garage will give you a look under the hoods of America's top marketing machines and you will hear from the people who build them. Through engaging interviews, Target Marketing's Editor-in-Chief, Thorin McGee, uncovers how leading brands assemble high-performance marketing technology stacks.
With guests including CMOs from some of the largest companies in the world and even the man who "fired" Steve Jobs (former Apple CEO John Sculley), the number of listeners has grown from nothing a year ago to over 8,000 downloads today, with 300 to 400 marketers tuning in to every episode.
Solve a Problem
Funnily enough for McDonald’s, the debut episodes of “The Sauce” explain and solve a problem for customers that the brand caused.
In October 2017, McDonald’s created a promotion with the “Rick and Morty” show to provide fans with Szechuan sauce for their McNuggets. However, demand far exceeded supply and there were riots.
On Feb. 26, McDonald’s supplied its restaurants with 20 million packets.
Customers listened to “The Sauce” to find out more about what happened and how McDonald’s solved the problem.
The four episodes have a 3.5-star rating on iTunes.
Distribute Ads on Other Podcasts
Locker says there’s still a need for those branded podcasts to be discovered by listeners.
And simply making a good show isn’t enough: Companies also have to pony up to buy ad space on other podcasts to ensure that they’re discovered, basically advertising their advertisements.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.