‘It’s a stepping stone’: What increased measurement opportunities mean for podcasting

After spending years making do without measurement, the podcast space is suddenly swimming in it. In June, the medium’s largest platform, Apple, announced it would begin giving creators consumption metrics. Weeks later, the Slate-owned podcast producer Panoply announced a partnership with Nielsen to offer audience targeting for the ads it dynamically inserts into podcasts using Megaphone.

Measurement has been one of the big missing pieces in the podcast space. With the medium growing steadily and measurement improving, we asked attendees at the 2017 IAB Podcast Upfront to assess the impact of this increased measurement.

Sandro Roco, director of strategic initiatives, Bombfell
In general, Apple is going to give you as little as they can on the publisher side and the advertiser side. That said, I think it could help accelerate things. [Podcasting] still does have a measurement problem. We talk to our agencies about being among the first couple [ad] spots because we don’t know about [podcast] completion rates. Right now, at least for our buying strategy, we’re going with the greatest hits. We’re being a little more aggressively cautious.

Janine Venturini, media buyer, Wieden+Kennedy
We have a battle, always, with buying podcasts because you can’t measure them. I think it’s a stepping stone. I don’t think they’re going to release every detail. You’re not going to know that a 29-year-old from Staten Island who likes dogs is listening to a podcast.

Will Flaherty, head of growth marketing, Rent the Runway
Measurement probably benefits some advertisers, but some it doesn’t. The ones that have succeeded with it have realized the arbitrage opportunities. It will benefit the space largely, but some [direct-response] advertisers will see those arbitrage opportunities dry up.

Russell Lindsey, president, Ad Results Media
There’s a lot more advertisers here than there were last year. It verifies what we’re seeing. Almost all our clients are direct-response. Some of the places brand advertisers are going [to invest in podcasting] are not the same place that direct-response advertisers will be going. Sure, it’s going to make the space a little more crowded, but I think it’s going to be a very narrow set of podcasts.

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