Article | October 20, 2022
Netflix Takes an Unexpected Route
Popular streaming giant Netflix’s subscriber count plummeted for the first time in a decade. After it announced the loss of 200K subscribers in Q1 of 2022, its stocks dipped more than 35%. In addition, a shareholder recently sued the platform for violating securities law after its subscriber growth reached an all-time low and the stock value crashed, making the picture bleaker.
It’s not surprising that the platform had a change of heart about bringing advertising to its platform. The decision puts the platform in the same category as its competitors, HBO Max, Amazon’s Freevee, and Disney+, who want to offer cheaper, ad-enabled content to consumers. It also addresses the company’s issue of slow revenue growth.
“Those who have followed Netflix know that I’ve been against the complexity of advertising and a big fan of the simplicity of subscription, But as much as I’m a fan of that, I’m a bigger fan of consumer choice.”
co-CEO Reed Hastings
What Do Advertisers Think?
The advertising community had mixed reactions to the announcement. Long commercials are not an option on streaming platforms like Netflix. The ads run only for a few minutes every hour to retain the viewer experience. Despite this, advertisers are excited to target Netflix’s rich audience of over 200 million.
There is no clarity on who will sell the ads and how the campaigns will be managed. Only time will tell how Netflix’s move will affect its subscribers and the advertising market.
The company will keep ad-free tiers for subscribers who wish to enjoy high-quality ad-free content. It may change its subscription plans to offer low-cost plans with ads and minimize password sharing. There is no set timeline or regions decided for implementing these plans.
The company hopes that this “consumer choice” to choose a cheaper plan will revive its subscriber growth graph.
What Comes Next?
Though Netflix has done the unexpected, it is giving well-established ad-funded broadcasters and streaming platforms a reason to worry. As of now, the potential for a low-cost VOD service equipped with ads is huge for advertisers. Once the plans are introduced, new audience profiles will emerge. Advertisers will want to understand and target them. As an ad platform, Netflix’s performance will only be understood through testing and learning.
Advertiser Campaign Management
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PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—Let’s clear up some likely misconceptions about what happens at a cannabis convention: No, they do not shoot weed out of T-shirt canons. And they don’t give it away for free—that’s illegal, even in the most permissive states.
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A few years ago, the word “influencer” meant something pretty different than what it represents today. In 2016, the Instagram-focused social media consumer probably pictured a wealthy ex-Bachelor contestant who took beach photos in a personalized floppy hat and sponsored weight loss tea. But in 2021, the creator economy has evolved to encompass a more relatable, diverse population. Average Joes have completely disrupted the influencer marketplace, and now that brands across all categories have an influencer marketing plan, they are competing to get their products and services in front of the eyes of loyal fanbases.
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Marketers in the B2B domain have a multi-channel approach to marketing because they target companies as buying groups. B2B marketers are leveraging podcast advertising with the help of advertisers, creators, and publishers for brand building and generating leads. They leverage up-and-coming avenues of advertising, most of which are a part of digital media channels. One such avenue is podcast advertising.
Podcast advertising is emerging as one of the fastest-growing digital media channels for advertising. It is estimated to grow to more than $2.13 billion in 2022, according to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
But, what is driving this growth?
People are finding podcasts more engaging than ever. Consequently, the demand for podcast ads across all categories is growing.
Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI): The Rise of Automated Ad Tech
Dynamic ad insertion is a form of programmatic advertising that uses first or third-party data. This data comes from the device playing a podcast, a device user agent, the device’s IP address, and what episode is requested, to serve ads to a target demographic. The ad server of the podcast hosting platform decides which ads should be stitched into a particular podcast episode. If done well, the audience will never know the difference between a dynamically inserted ad and a baked-in ad, which is a permanent part of the audio of the podcast.
Podcast hosting platforms, advertisers, and publishers adopted DAI because it helps brands win contextual relevance and efficiency through granular advertising opportunities. Through custom audio ads that appeal to the target audience, dynamic or seasonal geo-targeted ads, measurable variables, and performance data, DAI gives advertisers good control over podcast ad campaigns. This control allows them to tailor the campaigns based on the marketers’ demands.
DAI is evolving and has great potential in transcription-based targeting using AI and machine learning. It also has greater creative interactivity to make audio ads engaging through voice interactivity, personalization, and mobile phone engagement.
A podcast advertising example using DAI would be a brand creating multiple versions of pre-recorded audio ads that are served to target audiences on any podcast that meets the campaign criteria.
Podcast Advertising Anchors Digital Marketers for Effective Outreach
Edison Research’s Podcast Consumer 2017 report found that:
24% of people between the ages of 18 and 54 listen to podcasts monthly
Listeners are almost evenly split between men and women
Listeners tend to be affluent, mainly educated consumers
In the 25-54 age bracket, monthly listening has grown year over year for the past four years
These stats demonstrate the growing market for podcast advertising and a very stable demographic that B2B marketers would want to target. Marketers rely more on podcast advertisers and platforms to tap into the potential of podcasts as a media channel.
Here are some of the ways in which podcast advertising can enhance B2B marketing plans and bring in more conversions:
Listener behavior expansion− By understanding what kinds of podcasts the target audience listens to, marketers can create ads that appeal to them, and advertisers can help them get the perfect spot for the ad campaign to make it more successful.
Pivoting messaging is easier− Using different voiceovers, marketers can deliver the same message but elicit a different reaction from their target audience. Recycling old ad files is also a viable option to save time and resources.
Human connection− Hyper-personalized targeted ads relevant to the podcast content create a human connection with the audience and can influence their opinion about a brand.
Personal influence− Podcast hosts create a personal influence on the listeners so they keep tuning in to the podcast and even listen to the episodes again after a period. Ads on such podcasts receive stronger engagement and response. Additionally, hosts can also relay brand messages to listeners and influence their buying decisions.
Regional marketing− Podcasts are a great way to connect with a target demographic residing in a certain geographical area. Geo-targeting is a boon for region-specific marketing endeavors.
Effective storytelling− Podcasts can fuse autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) for immersive storytelling to impress listeners. The continuity and power of an engaging narration keeps the listeners subscribed and attached, ensuring that any kind of advertising on such podcasts can reach a wider audience.
Advertisers Are Helping B2B Marketers Generate Revenue
According to a forecast by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), podcast advertising revenue will exceed $4 billion by 2024. Marketers are dependent on advertisers to tap into the podcast advertising potential to generate revenue in the following ways:
An estimated 62 million Americans (Source: Edison Research) listen to podcasts, and this number is expected to grow. An interview by a product expert on an industry-relevant podcast can help get leads without wasting any budget on creating awareness, making it cost-effective. It’s no wonder LinkedIn and HubSpot have started their own podcast networks to host business and career-related content.
Brand Building & Customer Retention
Apart from using podcasts to generate leads, it can also help with brand building. Sponsoring a popular and relevant podcast episode can create a brand’s reputation and trust. It can also help retain existing customers as sponsorships demonstrate a continuous commitment to industry growth and development.
75% of podcast listeners were happy with the purchase they had made from podcast ads (A Study by Voices, the #1 voice marketplace). This goes to show that podcast advertising brings out expected results and conversions without compromising the customer experience or opinion.
Podcast as a Medium for Thought Leadership
Podcasts are a great medium for B2B thought leadership. They are a free space to express expert industry opinion, talk about the current industry trends, address the pain points of the customers, discuss tech advancements, and create a personal connection with the listeners. Tailored thought leadership content can fuel brand engagement and bring in leads that convert because of brand trust. Feedback gathered through interactive content can help B2B marketers create personalized marketing plans to align their goals with ad campaigns better.
Podcast Ads: Taking the First Step
Before you step into the world of podcast advertising, make sure you consider aspects like target demographic, podcast ad pricing, industry/brand relevant podcasts, ad purchasing, the reputation of the podcast advertising network, and podcast advertising platforms. Policygenius, a New York-based insurance agency, invested early in podcast advertising through Ad Results Media, an ad agency. Policygenius achieved its ROI goals, and its media spending increased by 10x in two years.
You can buy podcast ads directly, through a podcast advertising network, or programmatically. To track the success of your ads, use KPIs like unique listeners, ranking and reviews, subscribers, social sharing, and episode-by-episode metrics.
Wrapping It Up
Podcasts can be a great advertising avenue for B2B companies to influence their buying groups and create new customers. Its monumental growth as a media channel and its ad revenue over the past couple of years indicate that it is here to stay and should be harnessed for a wider reach and bigger sales numbers.
What is the role of podcast advertising networks?
A podcast advertising network is a full-service podcast advertising solution that maintains podcast ad inventory and manages ad campaigns for marketers.
How is podcast advertising different from traditional advertising methods?
Podcast advertising uses automated ad tech to create dynamic ad campaigns across relevant podcasts, while traditional advertising methods focus on print ads, outdoor billboards, and cable television.
Which are some popular podcast advertising platforms?
Some popular podcast advertising platforms are Midroll, AdvertiseCast, PodGrid, and Archer Avenue.