“Podvertising” (short for podcast advertising) is the next step in pushing podcasts into the mainstream, according to Podcast Network Asia (PNA). The podcast-focused media company recently partnered with AdSpark, a digital marketing campaigns company under Globe’s 917Ventures, to give brands access to podcast production services.
Podvertising allows brands to tap various demographics through different shows. The global podcasting market size is expected to reach $41.8 billion by 2026, rising at a market growth of 24.6% compound annual growth rate during the forecast period, according to Research and Markets, a market research store.
Under the partnership, brands can opt for ad placements such as themed episodes, three-minute segments, episode guestings, brand shoutouts, and 30-second pre-roll and baked-in advertisements in PNA’s network of podcasts. Advertisers can likewise develop placements based on user insights through Podmetrics, PNA’s free integrated performance measurement platform.
“Our grand vision of turning the Filipino podcasting community into a thriving industry becomes one step closer to reality with this partnership between PNA and AdSpark. We believe that podcasts are a powerful medium that don’t just allow listener understanding and retention, but also great ad ROI [return on investment] conversions,” said PNA Chief Executive Officer Ron S. Baetiong in a press statement.
PNA is home to more than 130 shows with around 15 million listens, including: Boiling Waters, Punchline with Alex Calleja, Walwal Sesh, The KoolPals, The Eve’s Drop, Tambalan Podcast, and Chink Positive.
The most popular podcast topics revolve around love and relationships, adulting and motivational shows, and comedy, said Bianca I. Cammayo, AdSpark’s marketing communications manager, in an e-mail interview with BusinessWorld. “When it comes to generational listening, it is very varied with younger listeners listening to a mix of relationship and comedy shows, and older ones listening to business shows with a mix of comedy as well.”
Sixty-six percent of those surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region claim to spend an average of 60 minutes a day listening to podcasts, according to consumer insight company GWI. The Philippines, which is the sixth fastest-growing country by podcast listening, has a listenership of 31 million. The majority come from the 23–34 age range, Ms. Cammayo added.
Podcasts owe their popularity, in part, to screen fatigue, with millennials and Gen Zs reporting “too much visual stimulation.” The medium also benefited from the ubiquity of smartphones, which are drivers of podcast engagement.
Podcasts, too, are better at retaining audience attention. “An average length of a podcast is around 1 hour, and 40–60% of people finish until the end of the podcast. Listeners get to enjoy the ads also because of how the podcasters execute the ads,” said Ms. Cammayo. “It’s not a typical ad where they stop the conversation just to play an audio ad. It’s really embedded in the conversation.”
Listeners find ad experiences positive, a December 2017 Nielsen report that studied sponsorship effectiveness found: 74% reported that the sponsors fit well with the content of the show; nearly 7 out of 10 of respondents exposed to podcast advertising also agreed the podcast ad they experienced increased their awareness of new products and services.
“The content, and not the brand, should be the star of the show,” said Sharon Taylor, managing director at podcasting hosting platform Omny Studio, in a June 2021 Campaign Asia article. “The biggest mistake in branded content is building one large, multi-episode ad instead of actual content. There is nothing wrong with selling goods and services, but a branded podcast is not going to be successful if that’s all the show is about.” — Patricia B. Mirasol