The Future of Podcast Advertising

What the most-successful and influential names in marketing will tell you, along with most technology savvy people, is that podcast marketing will rapidly finish devouring the entire universe of audio advertising by 2018. This is no more evident than Apple’s commitment to podcasting, with Steve Job’s commencement speech at the WWDC in 2013, and the recent announcement that Apple will be providing analytics to podcasters.

Long ago, the “new” standard was considered to be television & radio advertising. In that era, most marketers were late to accept the prevailing tide, and thought of television advertising as a silly fad. They’d ask, “what good is going through the cost of staging, recording, and scheduling advertisements, if the audience can’t revisit them the way they would an advertisement on a magazine or a newspaper?”

Though, a small proportion of the ahead-of-the-curve community of marketers realized the power of broadcast, made the right moves, and they made themselves and their equally ambitious clients wealthy beyond any of their wildest dreams.

Today, podcasts are replacing talk-radio, just as streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Pandora, and others are replacing music-radio. As anyone in the streaming music industry will tell you, advertising on their music platforms is on its way out, as music listeners are upset by the mere existence of ads interrupting their music experience. Rather, these services plan to make their revenue through subscription services since the overall market is seemingly willing to pay for “ad-free.”

Audio advertising, has only one place to go, and that’s podcasts. Talk radio is and always has been basically audio talk shows, like TV talk shows. Podcasts are essentially audio talk shows of the new era.

Similarly, a small proportion of the ahead-of-the-curve community of marketers have already realized the power and role of podcasts, and are making the right moves to position themselves and their clients well for this new future.

Unlike previous mediums, and as we are in the era of Big Data — successful advertising on Podcasts requires highly-targeted audiences and complementing placement of the ads to reach them. Very few marketers will achieve these levels of successful outcomes. This is because most point-of-sales are agents/brokers do not gain access to the right kind of data, nor build data science capabilities, and end up giving the clients media plans for placements that are far from optimal.

Winning this scenario, for those elite group of advanced-foresight marketers who are seeking directives from math and science, employ firms that do what’s known as “Deep Learning” — a form of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that uses what are called “Deep Neural Networks” to (among other things) create the most advanced audience targeting and placement system ever conceived.

DeepTrends, a Deep Learning firm in Los Angeles, is providing just that. Through groundbreaking algorithmic technologies DeepTrends, is mapping a “golden age” for these select marketers, offering media-plans-as-a-service. Leading this effort is Deb Ray, a Caltech PhD in Machine Learning is a pioneer of Deep Learning himself, which is now the most potent technology in the field of Data Science.

Most CMOs haven’t caught on to Podcasts yet, leaving it a under-utilized and under-priced channel for those who get in early.

The Typical Process of Podcast Advertising — a bad deal for brands…

Say you’ve decided that podcast advertising is something you’d like to try for your brand.

Here’s how it ‘typically’ works (in Figure 1):

  1. You reach out to a Podcast Advertising brokerage house
  2. The broker shows off their portfolio of popular podcasts, and asks what’s the product or brand that you’re marketing
  3. With only that information, the broker send you a media plan; a list of podcaster personalities who should read your advert based on their personal interests and some loose demographics they have on their respective audiences
  4. Then you ask the obvious question ….“How do I know that this will work?”

(In fact, you wouldn’t know…) The broker will suggest that you direct people to your website in the advertisement and have them punch in a special code, and that that will give you feedback…

Shouldn’t this process be more…scientific?

Shouldn’t the people creating your media plan and taking your money be more concerned with its effectiveness?

The Next Generation of Podcast Advertising — the elite advantage

A precision data-driven feedback loop with listener-specific sensitivities is the foundation of future methodologies, yet most brokerage houses have no idea what this means, let alone would they be able to implement this standard for a data-driven brand.

For video, web, and mobile ads, this standard has already been emerging rapidly. Given the newness of podcasts, such methodology has been neglected until now. See Figure 2.

DeepTrends team members were one of the founders of this revolution in video. “Back then, no one knew what neural networks meant for video advertising, and now everyone has caught on.” Dr. Ray sees the power of Podcast Advertising. “From the data we’ve been receiving, audio advertising through podcasts is far more powerful than video in many ways. It’s more intimate and more persuasive. The messaging resonates with audiences much more. The only thing that was missing was a computational-model for advanced targeting, and that’s what DeepTrends has built.”

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