Popular podcast programs such as “This American Life,” “Serial” and “S-Town” have hit the media market by storm the past couple of years, getting the attention of marketing and communications professionals in the process.
The podcast listener is an affluent, educated consumer likely to gravitate to content that’s light on advertising, according to a 2017 report by Edison Research. And these listeners are devoted: People who listen on a weekly basis tend to listen to five podcasts a week.
Still, many marketers have wondered how podcasts can be used to grow or enhance their business and brand. Arguably, one of the biggest things holding them back has been a lack of usable metrics. But that has changed, thanks to Apple’s podcast analytics.
Before implementing its podcast analytics, Apple provided almost no data to creators and advertisers related to the audience for podcasts. Sponsors have been supporting programs with almost no feedback outside of how many times a show was downloaded.
Now, marketers and sponsors can gain valuable insights into a podcast’s audience such as:
-How many people actually listen;
-When and where people listen;
-If and when people stop, skip or pause an episode;
-How many people skip certain episodes;
-Whether people have listened to ads.
Imagine you run a residential real estate brokerage and a local marketing company hosts an hour-long weekly podcast that covers big happenings in your town. It might be a great opportunity for you to reach your local community.
So now, in addition to checking into how the marketing company gets the word out to expand its podcast’s reach, the brokerage could ask for analytics.
As part of that process, let’s say the company learns that more than half the listeners drop off within the first 15 minutes. This information can help the brokerage make a smart business decision, in this case making sure its sponsorship spot will be heard in the first 15 minutes.
Podcast analytics are a major leap forward, helping to provide data that can be used as part of decision-making on sponsorship/advertising budgets. In turn, analytics should make podcasts more appealing to potential sponsors – a win for marketers, producers and listeners.