We recently hit a milestone at the Podcast Advertising Playbook with our 100th episode!
I realize this probably means a whole lot more to me than anyone reading this blog post, but nonetheless, you’ve been part of our journey so far, and I thank you for that.
In honor of our 100th episode, I wanted to sit down and dive into six current podcasting trends I’ve been seeing and which ones you should be keeping an eye on.
An Increase In Programmatic/Dynamic Ad Insertion
I know you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about dynamic ad insertion, but it’s too important for me not to mention.
For anyone who hasn’t heard me talk about this a hundred times, dynamically inserted ads are inserted into podcast episodes as opposed to physically stitching them in when you create your audio. And I’ve been seeing an increase in the use of dynamic ad insertion technology.
We all know where I stand on the topic of dynamically inserted ads, so I’m pretty excited about this trend. I love dynamically inserted ads because it allows us to monetize all impressions, not just impressions that happen in a set time frame.
The second part of this trend comes from direct response agencies, who are now starting to talk about programmatic ads. The increased interest in programmatic ads leads me to believe more companies will continue to ask about them.
It’s my guess that the use of dynamic ad insertion will continue to grow, and we’ll see an increase in programmatic laid on top.
Consolidation is Impacting the Industry
We haven’t seen much consolidation this year, which could be due in part to the current state of the economy. What I’ve noticed from the consolidation that has occurred is that we’re having more stakes in the ground happening.
From what I’ve seen, when a larger company acquires a smaller one, the smaller company goes into an almost holding pattern. Any new initiatives or campaigns they were running goes on hold. It almost seems like it takes about a year before the smaller company is fully absorbed into the larger one.
This forces us to think about how these bigger companies are affecting our industry. I think we’ll continue to see smaller companies in the podcasting space pop up here and there, but it might also be inevitable that they eventually get purchased by a bigger company. It makes me wonder how this will affect our industry’s ability to be nimble and continue to be innovative.
Content Creators Approach Podcasts Differently
The podcast industry is maturing as it develops, and with that, the content is also maturing.
In the past, to me, it felt like people would say, “I’m just going to put it together. I’m just going to throw a show together and see what happens. I’ll see if it sticks.” That isn’t to say there wasn’t thought and intentionality behind those choices, but maybe not to the same level we see today.
The increased intentionality behind content creation makes sense when you look at the number of shows out there. There’s no way one person could listen to every single podcast out there, let alone all the top shows in your favorite genres. There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to which podcast to listen to, and creators know this. The increased intentionality in content creation is to make their show stand out amongst the crowd.
There are also different types of content out there that still fit under the podcast umbrella, and the different types of content affect how listeners consume that content. A quick daily news show would be consumed differently than a season of a true crime show.
Keep this in mind the next time you’re creating content for your show.
It’s Hard to Grow an Audience
Alright, the title is a little misleading. It’s always been hard to grow an audience, but I think it’s been getting harder in recent years.
I always like to be mindful when I talk about audience growth because, yes, an audience is important to the success of your podcast, but it’s not the only factor. You can still be a successful podcaster without thousands and thousands of downloads or listeners.
Sometimes the content you’re creating, like podcast trends, for example, can be very niche. I think, in part, this comes from the recent boom we’ve seen in podcast creation. The hope is that with this increase in shows, the listener base will also increase.
CPMs Are Decreasing
The first time I saw CMPs start to decrease was back in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. In April 2020, we experienced mass cancellations from our advertisers. They started to come back around the end of May or early June, but when they did, they said they wanted a decrease in CPM.
One thing that is interesting to consider, too, is that we might see a softening in CPMs because we’re shifting to a more dynamically ad-inserted space. It’s reasonable to consider that we might not get the same rates as you would with embedded ads.
I think, more than anything, we’ll see an increase in the conversation and scrutiny of CPMs as the year continues due to talks about the economy and a potential recession looming around the corner.
Conversations Surrounding Oversight and Standardization
I tend to have conversations about oversight and standardization a lot because when you think of it, this industry is essentially made up of open-source individuals creating content. Standardization will always be difficult in podcasting because it’s hard to get 100 companies together and have them say, “alright, everyone, we’re all going to do the same thing.”
It makes me wonder if we should get together and have a better industry association. I think it’s important to continue to have conversations about how we are working together as an industry to support one another but also have a standard for when advertisers come into this space.
It’s easy to look at the podcasting industry and think it’s huge and established because, compared to five years ago, it is. But in reality, it’s still growing and evolving every day. If I missed any trends you’ve been watching lately, be sure to let me know in the comment or us tweet us @truenativemedia.
If you are interested in buying podcast ads but have no idea where to start, read this article, Podcast Advertising Best Practices Every Marketer Should Know, and contact us at truenativemedia.com.
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