In the vast landscape of the digital revolution, a key player in its shifting sands is the media business. As consumer patterns and media distribution evolve, it is no surprise that on demand systems are growing in popularity.
This is true for the print industry where magazines and newspaper content is being displaced by websites as well as the publishing industry where people are increasingly reading e-books via Kindle or their mobile devices. TV and movies are being consumed via on demand services like Netflix, Hotstar or Ditto TV. In the case of YouTube, we are seeing a proliferation of UGC along with various professionally-produced shows.
Correspondingly, audio is moving in the same direction. It’s a better experience when you have the choice of listening to your favourite music at any time on apps like Saavn, Gaana and Hungama.
A virtuous cycle is developing, where the ability to reach an audience allows extraordinary content creators to take advantage of the medium — whether it is AIB or Sherry Shroff innovating and gaining popularity in the video space or companies like The Wire or Scroll providing alternatives to traditional news journalism.
None of these achievements would be possible without online distribution and their success is only tantamount to the fact that people want to consume this content online.
So, in an increasingly connected world it is inevitable that audio will shift to an on demand model of delivery as well. As a result of this, we will start seeing audio content besides film music being produced in India. We believe that we will see ‘Talk Radio’ or podcasts flourish in this new environment.
A couple of things to keep in mind about podcast advertising:
– Highest unaided recall: A study done by Midroll Media found an unaided recall rate of over 80% when they asked a group of podcast listeners to mention one of the brands advertising on a show they heard and 80% could recall who the advertiser was. This is an incredibly high number for this metric.
– Advertising format: Rather than a pre-packaged ad or jingle, we are working with companies to create brand stories. This leads to an incredibly compelling ad, often as interesting as the show the listener is tuned into. Hence, there is no thought to skip past. This is also aided by the fact that the number of ads on a podcast is kept low — a minimum of two-three per hour.
– Influential listeners: Podcast advertising generates influential listeners. However, they are also a group that displays ad-avoidance behaviours in much of their media consumption habits. For instance they will use an ad blocker on their web browser, or will consume TV content via an OTT platform, DVR or piracy. They are relatively unexposed to advertising as they work hard to avoid it, so ads they do see, tend to stick or stand out.
– Positive feeling about the brand: In a study done by Edison Research in association with IAB podcast listeners were asked: “Is your opinion of a company more positive when you hear it mentioned on one of the podcasts you regularly listen to?” 63% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with that sentiment.
In the US, podcasts started out by working with brands who were interested in direct response, but over the last few years, we have started seeing all kinds of brands take advantage of the unique benefits of advertising on podcasts. With similar trends following suit, we should see the same patterns emerge in India too.
The author is founder, Indus Vox Media