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Do you have a favorite podcast you listen to on the way to work? Does binge watching the first season of a hot drama make your weekend “to-do” list? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Millions of people place a premium on convenience and expediency when it comes to entertainment, and it’s turning weekly podcasts and connected TV (CTV) into a ‘must-do’. So, what are these digital trends and what role will advertising play in the context of on-demand media?

Smart phones, computers and connected screens enable a 24-hour, continuous flow of news, movies and info-tainment. Saturation like this creates big wins for advertisers—if they know what they’re doing. Top marketers are reaching an enthusiastic, diverse and super informed audience by targeting them where they spend their time—listening to podcasts and watching connected TV. If you’re ready to build a digital campaign that gets results, here’s why you need to add CTV and podcast advertising to the mix.

Wow, Digital Audio—the Podcast Grew Up!

“Anyone can be a broadcaster!” That was the battle cry in 2004, when the term ‘podcast’ first made its debut. Fast forward 16 years, and digital audio has grown up, with modern day podcasts reaching 60 million homes. From Gen-Z to baby boomers, people of all ages are listening to weekly podcasts, prompting major platforms like Spotify and iTunes to carry episodes on every topic under the sun, from technology to veganism.

When and where are they listening?

In 2019, research from CivicScience found that one in three Americans 13 or older (32%) listen to podcasts daily and 39% listen at least weekly. While most people listen at home (49%), smart phones drive podcast consumption in the car (22%), at work (11%), or while walking around (3%).

People are actively listening, but they’re also buying. The same study found that 22% of podcast listeners made a purchase specifically because of a podcast ad. For marketers, this is great news, and the perfect reason to start allocating a healthy portion of digital spend to podcast advertising.

Types of ads that run on podcasts. With podcasting, there are a few different ways to advertise. Ad content can be read by the host during the podcast, or ads can be delivered to the podcaster intact, like with radio advertising. However, unlike radio, where listeners are spammed with multiple ads throughout the broadcast, podcasts generally have fewer than three ads per episode, weaving them into podcast content more naturally, making them intrinsically more valuable. Basically, there 3 places to showcase an ad during a podcast.

  • Pre-roll (15 seconds at the beginning of a podcast)
  • Mid-roll (60 seconds in the middle of a podcast)
  • Outro (during the last few words of a podcast, as a final call to action)

Why podcast advertising works. The Interactive Advertising Bureau estimates revenue from podcast advertising last year approached $678 million. By 2021, they’re projecting this amount will break $1 billion. Why do podcasts deliver effective results?

  • Listeners buy products from podcast ads
  • Podcasts drive engagement

It’s simple really. Podcasts are engaging mediums for delivering messages. People trust their host and are generally receptive to the ads he or she personally decides to endorse.

What about Measurement?

With ad revenue surging, podcast platforms have no choice but to provide marketers with more sophisticated measurement tools. In early 2020, Spotify introduced ‘streaming ad insertion’ technology giving marketers access to information like ad impressions, frequency and reach, while providing anonymous insights about podcasts’ audiences. Advertisers can now layer in audience data along with podcast advertising, which currently has never been done.

Meet Connected TV, the “Cool” Kid on the Block 

Connected TV (CTV) is all the rage today. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s just a television set that’s connected to the internet, sometimes called “smart TV”. However, connectivity gives traditional television a face lift, with viewers getting unlimited access to all things media—favorite movies, sporting events, news programs and more on-demand. For digital marketers, connected TV advertising is highly targeted and—at least for right now—underutilized.

What is Connected TV advertising?

Connected TV advertising involves placing digital ads on connected TV devices, including smart TVs and internet enabled TVs. Currently, 3 companies dominate the CTV landscape—Hulu, Roku and YouTube with approximately 7 of 10 display and video ad dollars going to these companies.

Why so much advertiser interest in Connected TV?

The number of cord-cutters, or people who have had enough of traditional TV, and are replacing linear television with connected TV is growing exponentially. This increase is especially attractive to advertisers who are looking for a nationally representative audience. Investment will continue to grow—eMarketer predicts connected TV ad spend will hit 14 billion by 2023.

Connected TV advertising offers the promise of big benefits. If you’re wondering what there is to gain from an ad strategy that includes connected TV, here are just a few.

  • Precision targeting—it’s easy to reach the right audience at the right time with geo, demographics etc.
  • No skipping—in-stream video ads must be completed to resume watching, and people watch!
  • Responsive, engaged audiences—ads are shown with less frequency, making them more interesting.
  • Fast return on investment—with higher engagement and higher completion rate, ROI is quick and easy.

Measuring for success is a work in progress.

While CTV offers richer, deeper targeting, there is currently no standardized, one-size-fits-all approach to measuring success. However, people don’t mind CTV ads, and the opportunity is enormous. As with all campaigns, securing a unified view in real time with metrics that matter is the goal. CTV Advertisers use metrics like the following to gauge success:

  • Completion Rate—how many people who were served your ad finished watching it?
  • Cost per Completion Rate—total campaign spend divided by total number of completed views.
  • Awareness—do more people recognize your brand after your ad campaign?

Laying out the steps to a successful digital advertising campaign

Piecing together a smart campaign in the digital age requires expertise and know-how. With a wide range of challenges in measurement, fraud in ad-buying and more, success can be tricky. Nevertheless, connected TV and podcasts are two of the fastest growing channels in advertising as more people turn to on-demand media and digital audio to stay informed and entertained. Smart marketers are embracing these trends by putting advertising dollars where they are sure to return the best results.

At DashTwo, we’re digital experts, and we can help you get the edge you need to quickly and easily integrate connected TV and podcast advertising into a broader digital plan. With digital savvy, and a record of success with podcast and CTV partners, we can help you build a winning strategy, from planning and buying to connecting with your audience and measuring results.

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