Advertising in the Booming Podcast Industry Makes Sense for Businesses Looking for a Leg Up. Use One of These Podcast Attribution Companies to Improve Campaign Effectiveness.
Podcasting is a medium with which to be reckoned. Depending on which study and statistics you look at, one thing is for sure, podcasts – easy to access from anywhere on any device in long or short form on any topic under the sun – are popular and continuing to pervade everyday life.
Some U.S.-based stats:
- 88 million podcast listeners in 2019 (projected to be 160 million by 2023)
- 1.5 million podcast shows (with 34 million episodes) in October 2020; there were 550,000 podcasts in June 2018
- 197 million Americans have heard about podcasts
- 2 million podcasts are registered by Google (November 2020)
- Businesses spent $497 million on podcast advertising in 2018
- 54% of podcast consumers say they think about buying advertised products
- Brands that advertise their products and services on business podcasts enjoy an average 14% rise in purchase intent
- Podcasting is expected to generate more than $1 billion in ad revenue in 2021
Great, But How Do Podcast Attribution Companies Measure Downloads and Listens? (Hint: They Measure Conversions)
If you are advertising on podcasts – be it through your own podcast content or via someone else’s show – or if you are considering podcast advertising, you want those ads to work for you. You have to measure their effectiveness.
And we don’t mean just tracking downloads, listens or web visits. What you need to track are conversions. Conversions are sales of goods and services or signed contracts. These are revenue events – and they need to be properly attributed to the marketing sources which drove them.
Ask yourself: Do you know how well your podcasts, or your podcast ads, are doing in terms of conversions?
Listens and Downloads Aren’t Enough
Amazingly, many advertisers do not receive any data on conversions. They rely on their ad reps at Spotify or Pandora, or their hosting service like Megaphone (which Spotify recently purchased) to tell them the number of downloads, how long users listened, and the number of listeners who visited the advertiser’s website after hearing the ad. It’s good data, but it’s not good enough.
Visits and impressions ultimately aren’t important; what you really want are conversions – and more of them.
Podcast Attribution: How it Works
Anyone serious about podcast advertising needs to focus on measuring performance. To do that successfully, you need attribution data and insights from that data. So what is podcast attribution, and what’s different about that data vs. the data the podcast streaming and host services provide to its advertisers?
First, let’s tackle how podcast attribution works, specifically how it shows the linkage between a podcast ad that leads to an in-store or online visit that – wait for it – ends in a conversion. To do podcast attribution properly, it has to be part of a multitouch attribution approach, so your podcast ads are measured against all other marketing channels working hard on your business’ behalf.
Here’s a simplified breakdown of podcast attribution in action:
- Your attribution provider receives information from the podcast server that anonymously identifies an individual that downloads or streams a podcast episode.
- Identifiers may include an IP address, timestamp, episode ID, ad ID and/or an ad ID from the individual’s mobile device (this all depends on how and where the podcast was consumed).
- This stored information is later compared with similar ID data from visitors to brick-and-mortar business.
- This data-match work allows attribution of the in-person visit back to the podcast ad campaign that motivated them to do so.
- Best of all, the insights from said data is available in real time, so optimization decisions – changes to which shows, episodes, and timing of those ads – can be made in flight.
13 Podcast Attribution and Analytics Vendors
Here are 13 vendors that provide varying levels of podcast attribution with their offerings of analytic tools. These are provided in alphabetical order and their ranking does not imply a recommendation or preference.
- Anchor – Recently purchased by Spotify, Anchor tracks metrics from multiple platforms, including stats powered by Spotify, in a single dashboard.
- Pricing: Free
- Tip: The mobile app and desktop platform allow users to record podcast episodes and edit them
2. Backtracks – The technology from Backtracks is aimed at providing stats to publishers, advertisers, and app managers.
- Pricing: $39 per month; free trial available
- Tip: Analytic data focuses on effective, and ineffective, content and ads
3. Blubrry – A subsidiary of RawVoice, Blubrry has advanced podcast media stats to help understand audience listenership, including who they are, when they listen, and on what platforms and devise.
- Pricing: Packages range from $12 to $80 per month, depending on size
- Tip: Good for beginners to advanced, but might be too technical for those not savvy
4. Breaker – A host and publishing platform, Breaker provides analytics on listeners on its platform and across other podcast platforms.
- Pricing: Free
- Tip: Focus is more on hosting, publishing, and distribution.
5. Chartable – The analytics and attribution tools from Chartable aim to help publishers grow their audience, and brands and agencies to better understand their ad spend.
- Pricing: Free for hobbyists; $20/month and $100/month, respectively, for Indie and Pro versions; enterprise-level pricing available upon request
- Tip: Focus is more aimed at the publisher side for charting content and competitor content
6. Claritas – Using a unique methodology fueled by its Identity Graph, Claritas links podcast exposures to online and offline conversions, providing insights into campaign performance by component.
- Pricing: Available upon request
- Tip: The Identity Graph uses technology and data science to connect customer and prospect data to their devices and digital behavior.
7. Fireside – Offering multiple services, including website design, custom domains, and hosting, Fireside provides analytics tracking unique downloads.
- Pricing: $19 per month; free trial available
- Tip: Download stats and analytics focus on real-time data, better podcast planning, and hosting
9. Podbean – The Podbean platform is designed to help users start a podcast without learning difficult technology, as well as promote and monetize it.
- Pricing: Starting at $9 per month; free version available
- Tip: Tool has a built-in dynamic advertising system, Patron Program, and a Premium Podcast service
10. Podsights – Podsights connects podcast downloads to onsite activity to show campaign effectiveness.
- Pricing: $1.95 CPM pay-as-you-go for brands new to podcasting; flat rate of $500 for established brands and agencies
- Tip: Targets how campaigns are pacing and the number of households being reached across hosting providers
11. Podtrac – Podtrac ranks top podcast publishers and podcasts based on unique audience counts, in addition to offering audience data to advertisers and publishers.
- Pricing: Available upon request
- Tip: Podtrac owns Authentic, a podcast advertising company that connects publishers and advertisers
12. Spreaker – A self-proclaimed one-stop shop for podcast hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization, Spreaker focuses on solutions for publishers and distributors.
- Pricing: Ranges from a free version for hosting to $45 a month for a yearly subscription
- Tip: The monetization side is about ad insertion, but it’s not clear how analytics come into play
13. Transistor – A self-proclaimed publishing platform, Transistor is a fairly new player offering analytics for downloads per episode, popular podcast apps, number of subscribers, and trends.
- Pricing: Packages from $19 to $99 per month; free trial available
- Tip: Tool integrates with Drip, MailChimp, and ConvertKit
Yes, knowing a podcast show or a particular episode of that show has lots of listeners is important. The top 5 shows by listenership from fall 2019 to spring 2020 (according to Edison Research) were the Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily (NYT), This American Life, My Favorite Murder, and Crime Junkie. In spring 2019, Joe Rogan’s podcast had more than 190 million monthly downloads; and it is why Spotify bought his show for $100 million – which now appears to be a bargain – in late spring 2020.
But listeners, downloads, and web visits don’t always equal conversions. If you want to beat your competition by advertising in the growing podcast industry, you need data and insights that show you just which programming is driving sales to your business.
While most podcast attribution providers listed above add value, they are point solutions and will not give you the full-spectrum, cross-channel, impartial multitouch attribution data you need to make wise and profitable marketing decisions.
Find out more about the LeadsRx Podcast Attribution solution with a personalized demo.