Fast introduction to podcasts | Articles

Audio industry background

Regarding the audio media landscape, my colleague Jeroen has previously explained the concept of programmatic audio in an article titled ‘Programmatic audio - Changing the way of buying audio ads online’.

In addition to these two trends, we are seeing very strong growth in the use of podcasts in the media industry. Indeed, since last year, we note globally an increase of more than 367% for these (Source: Spotify). The success of this audio format is thanks to the fact that it is less restrictive in terms of its use. In contrast to Youtube, the consumer must not let the video play to listen to the content of it, he can simply download the content on his mobile phone, and then listen to it via headphones whenever and wherever he wants. Because of this, the listening duration is positively impacted and is generally much longer than for YouTube videos. In addition, people are also more involved with the content, which demonstrates the potential of this format for advertisers.


What is a podcast?

Concretely, what is a podcast. If we take the definition of the website, we can define a podcast as a digital recording intended for the general public, which is generally available for free on the Internet via a downloadable MP3 format or hosted on platforms like Spotify or Soundcloud.

In terms of commercials, there are different formats available to advertisers, namely, three different: pre-roll, mid-roll (or also called "host-read ads"), and finally post-roll. These different formats are also differentiated by their respective positions within the podcast. Indeed, the pre-roll is an announcement that arrives before the podcast and post-roll after it. The mid-roll is positioned in the middle of the podcast in a much more natural way, because it is the podcaster himself promoting the brand in question. If we refer to the industry average costs, it usually costs between € 15 for 1000 downloads for a pre or post-roll, and € 22 for a mid-roll format, besides the pre-roll and post-roll are shorter (15 seconds) than the mid-roll (60 seconds).


Best practices

First, the marketing goal of podcasts is generally to promote brand awareness among a target audience, or in other words refers to the "Awareness" section of the conversion funnel.

Secondly, it is important to know that a podcast can be downloaded, but not listen by the user directly after the download which complicates the reporting of this format in terms of attribution model. As a first step, we must try to encourage users to go to the website of the promoted product using a clear call to action, namely: either mention the URL directly in the audio announcement so that it is easily stored by the user, or integrate a unique code for each campaign via a promo code. In a second step, you can insert in your registration process or orders on your site, a question like the following: "how did you hear about us?". Finally, it is important to look at the KPIs in the long term to be able to have a more complete and exhaustive image on the results of your campaign.

Third, before transferring your media file to a hosting platform such as Youtube or Spotify, you must first create a Rich Site Summary (RSS) file for podcasts, which is a computer-readable file that aims to allow users and different platforms to have access to content that is regularly updated or modified over time. For Google Play and Itunes, these feeds are very important for collecting the newest episodes from podcasters.

Fourth, it is important not to exceed more than two ads per podcast episode, as this will damage the user experience. In addition, think of inserting a one-to-one communication in your advertisements so that the user does not feel that you are talking to a very large audience. In terms of one-to-one communication, the Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) is a very good way to further personalize the message of the ads. Moreover, Semetis has been the first digital agency to launch the first Audio DCO ads in Belgium : ‘The future is here: Semetis launches first Audio DCO ads in BE’.



Because Spotify is a pioneer in terms of programmatic audio buying in Belgium and has just expanded its advertising functionality by integrating in its platform, the ability to target people who listen to podcasts, we think it is interesting to mention some features related to this one.

This platform makes it possible to target Spotify Free podcast listeners while offering more advanced campaign options, such as only targeting certain categories of podcasts (Comedies, Lifestyle & Health, etc.). In addition, Spotify offers excellent quality in terms of environmental advertising.


Other useful platforms for podcasts

It's not just Spotify that is present in the podcast market in the audio industry. We can also mention companies like Soundcloud, Targetspot, and Acast. Regarding the company Soundcloud, it can be defined as a company that provides an online audio distribution platform. While Targetspot provides a network of leading online music providers with access to internet radio. Finally, Acast stands out from other competitors by providing access to dynamic advertising space on a podcast hosting platform.

publication auteur Timothy Jacqmin
Timothy Jacqmin

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