Your Guide to Podcast Measurement

By Audacy Insights Team

With over 2.5 million podcasts and counting, there’s a podcast (or more) for every imaginable interest, hobby, and passion. Listeners are passionate and engaged, and more advertisers than ever want in. Their timing is spot-on. Thanks to new capabilities and tools, podcast measurement and attribution are advancing at lightning speed, clearing the way for more brands to invest – and see tangible results. 

Podcasts are evolving quickly from a niche, experimental buy to a proven way to reach targeted audiences with reliable measurement. They’re flexible enough to offer hyper-targeting and scaled audiences. Technology allows publishers to deliver the most relevant ads to highly-engaged listeners in individual podcasts or across a network, turbo-charging impact and frequency. 

So who’s listening to podcasts? More than 104 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, up from 72 million in 2018. Even among throngs of avid listeners, podcasts are a highly personalized experience. From Millennial moms to auto enthusiasts to home chefs, podcast fans look for shows that align with their interests and lifestyles. And no matter your target audiences, podcasts lend a halo effect. Listeners value brands that support their favorite shows and pay attention to endorsements from beloved, trusted hosts. Among listeners, more than half seriously consider buying products or services from brands they hear advertising in their favorite shows. 

Measuring Your Podcast Campaign

Brands are bullish on podcasting’s potential, but if they commit significant dollars, they need the investment to pay off. Here are the answers to your top five questions on podcast measurement.

#1 Who are the leading partners for podcast measurement and attribution?

We work with Clartias, Charitable, and Podsights to measure conversion campaigns. And we partner with Nielsen and Milward Brown to analyze brand effectiveness. These studies help our partners prove ROI and measure online and offline results. 

#2 How can brands move beyond vanity URLs and discount codes for more robust tracking and measurement?

In podcasting’s short history, many brands have relied on vanity URLs and promo codes. While these tactics can be effective for developing brand recognition, they don’t capture the full picture. Studies show that they miss up to 87% of ad impact for audio campaigns.  

Brands can leverage digital-style pixel-based attribution to evaluate ad impact and return on investment. Pixel tracking uses device identifiers to reveal who heard an ad and then took action. That includes visiting a website, making a purchase, or downloading an app.

#3 How can brands utilize pixel-based tracking to amplify or improve their media buys?

Brands can use pixel tracking to optimize their performance just as they would for display or video. Determine if you’re reaching the right audience, what content, genre, or shows are most effective, or if you need to pivot. You’ll also see which creative is driving the strongest performance.

#4 Can marketers run attribution reports on smaller, local campaigns or only national ad buys?

Attribution can be measured at any scale, from local campaigns in a single market to national ad buys. 

#5 How can a brand be sure that listeners are hearing commercials? Can’t a listener just skip through the ads?

With podcasting, advertisers get serious bang for their buck. Most podcast fans listen to ads, with 80% saying they don’t skip ads. Plus, according to IAB V2.0 guidelines, ad impressions count only when the ads are delivered. Listeners hear relevant ads targeted to their interests, so spots don’t feel disruptive or intrusive. Also, since podcast listeners are often multi-tasking and hands-free, they’re a captive audience willing to listen through ad breaks.

Ready to learn more about how to target, buy, and measure podcast campaigns? Check out the complete Podcast Playbook.

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

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SOURCES

Podcast Playbook, Audacy, 2023

Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2021

Claritas-Audacy 2020 Attribution Study

Podcast Listeners Pay Attention To Ads

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