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Podcasts: The Post-Twitter Must-Have For Advertisers

Podcasts: The Post-Twitter Must-Have For Advertisers

Written by Georgie HoltManaging Director, The Americas at Acast2022.12.13

Whilst I don’t know what podcasts Elon Musk listens to regularly (would be fun to guess though) or on what platforms he listens to them, I’m assuming it’s not on Apple anymore, or maybe it is now, it’s hard to keep up. I do know from using Acast’s keyword targeting tool, that since the early Summer of 2022, Musk has been mentioned in nearly 44 million downloads across Acast’s 88,000 podcasts.

That’s a lot of Musk and that’s a lot of podcast listens. So what do both those things have in common and why should it matter to advertisers?

Since Musk bought Twitter less than two months ago 50 of the social media giant’s top 100 advertisers have stopped advertising on the platform. Industry reports project that this group spent nearly $2 billion on Twitter ads since 2020 and more than $750 million in 2022 alone. 

The list of brands exiting or pausing their ad spend on the platform continues to grow as Twitter’s controversies persist. Just last week, the Washington Post reported that ads from major brands like Amazon and Uber appeared on white nationlist accounts, which had recently been reinstated by Musk. 

With advertising estimated to account for approximately 90% of Twitter’s total revenue, Musk has recently sought to counter these losses with incentives that run through the end of the year. In an email to ad agencies, Twitter stated that advertisers who book a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $1 million in incremental spending will qualify for their spending to be matched by the company. This week he is also rolling out new controls for ad placements. 

But the issue, as far as I could see, was never the price tag for these brands. The problem is what Twitter has become and the changes Musk is now making may be too little too late to turn the advertiser tide.

It’s true that today’s advertisers demand more from their marketing investments than ever before. 

They want to have a purpose, be an ally, to be an advocate, to get attention (and to keep it), to reach the right people, in the right context, at the right time and in the right way. They want brand safety, measurement, and performance. They want it all to be seamless, friction free, and most importantly, they want it to work.

They are essentially asking for what podcasting has to offer.

For example if you want to reach the right customers at the right time? At Acast, we offer a full suite of tools that enable advertisers to align their campaigns with podcast conversations that best fit their brand objectives. Most recently, we launched our Keyword Targeting capability which, as the second from our suite of Conversational Targeting tools, enables advertisers to target towards specific words and phrases spoken at the individual podcast episode level. With such granular targeting capabilities, brands and advertisers can rest assured that their messages are reaching and resonating with the right audience in the right place.

What’s more is that because Acast keeps the brand safety of our advertisers and the authenticity of the listening experience at the heart of our mission, working with partners like Comscore and the IAB, we’re constantly improving and refining our brand suitability tools. In future iterations of Acast’s keyword targeting tool, we will make podcast advertising even more brand safe by allowing advertisers to target away from specific words and phrases as well as towards conversation sentiment and tone.

It isn’t just about brand safety though, podcasting is the medium that continues to thrive in the attention economy. In fact, according to our research with Nielsen, 65% of podcast listeners are focused when listening to podcasts, more so than any other tested medium. Moreover, this same study found that 73% of podcast listeners take action following ad exposure and 55% of listeners said they have developed a more positive opinion towards a brand that advertised on their favorite podcast.

Creating actions and positive opinions about brands is one of the many things that makes podcast marketing work for advertisers. It’s important to note that podcast advertising works for their customers too. In Kantar’s 2021 Media Reactions Report podcasts overtook influencer marketing as consumers ‘most receptive’ digital ad medium. Kantar’s data shows that campaigns are seven times more impactful among receptive audiences, recommending that marketers need to ensure their strategies respect consumer preferences.

But what about the performance aspect and particularly performance marketing? Perhaps one of things that Twitter was most known for. And what about (whisper it…) what about the young people?

Podcasting was built on the back of performance marketing advertisers and performance marketing agencies. Today 52% of podcast spend still comes from ‘direct response’ advertisers. It simply pays for these performance brands to press play on their podcast marketing budgets and it shows no sign of slowing down. But it's also very clear the brand money is coming and it’s coming fast. It makes for an exciting and creative advertiser environment where podcast spend can service the full marketing funnel

So what about the young people? Gen Z to be precise, the digital natives, the ones we all want to reach, they can’t be listening to podcasts can they and they certainly can’t be listening for long? 

Well, Dear Reader, they are. Gen Z audiences are one of the fastest growing in podcasting and they want podcasts to be even longer. With Acast and Nielsen data finding that a quarter of 18-24 year old podcast listeners wishing podcasts were longer. 

I particularly love this stat, perhaps more than any other I have shared here, it’s the one that gives me the most hope for the future and it’s the one that brings this piece all the way back to Twitter. 

Why? Well it speaks to me that podcasts are fulfilling a very human need of the most important generation for the future of this world. A need for listening, listening to more nuanced conversation and thorough analysis over random hot takes and quick-hit, back and forth, 280 characters or less broadcast commentary. 

I hope that this stat reminds you, like it did for me, that listening to others talk things out from a wide range of perspectives, is where progress and understanding happens and that gives me hope. I have always believed podcasting is a place of hope, where hopeful people from across the world come to seek knowledge and community. It’s validating to see that Gen Z see that too. 

So what next for Musk? It’s difficult to know for sure, but what I do know for sure is there are millions more mentions ahead for him in podcasting in 2023. Just like I know there are also millions more new podcast listeners who will discover podcasting for the first time and many thousands of advertisers who will too. 

Before I sign off and let you get back to your favorite podcast, for the advertisers who like it real easy, we've just announced an Acast self-serve tool. Where you can create and book your very own podcasting campaign.

If you want something a little more bespoke and to learn more about how your brand can create more integrated podcast advertising campaigns, contact sales@acast.com.

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