Analysis Suggests Long Live Read Could Give Clients $400 Million In Free Ad Time In 2021.


Podcasters may be in line to give advertisers as much as $400 million in free ad time in 2021 – added value in salesperson speak – according to an analysis of ad trends by Audioboom EVP of Global Sales & Development Thomas Mancusi. His projection is based on how much longer live reads run than what clients are paying for.

Using Magellan AI data, he reports in a blog post that the average ad length in a True Crime podcast is 73.95 seconds. That is 23% more than the one-minute ad purchased. On Comedy podcasts live reads run 95 seconds on average, or 58% more than what advertisers buy. Similar bonus time is given in the TV & Film genre where live reads run on average 91 seconds or 52% more than the buy.


“The leading 3,000 podcasts across these genres are delivering an incredible level of additional value to advertisers with an average ad length of 84 seconds,” says Mancusi. “That 40% increase over the purchase value could equate to around $400 million of added value to brands during 2021, a year in which the U.S. podcast industry is slated to hit $1 billion in ad revenue.”


Added value is nothing new to media sales. Radio has long given bonus spots to clients. As a result, Mancusi says most client requests come with an ask for added value from the buying agency in order to maximize their clients’ advertising plan. In podcasting, where live reads are common, he says it is not surprising that the spots go beyond the sixty-second duration that is negotiated and purchased.


But rather than push to be paid for spot time, Mancusi says Audioboom has embraced the ad overruns. “We coach our podcast partners and creators, helping them produce better shows and deliver strong advertising,” he says. “We implore the talent to go well over the sixty seconds in duration and to keep the ads as organic as possible.”


As a result, the average Society & Culture live read on Audioboom runs 104 seconds versus 77 seconds for podcasting in general. And for True Crime, a live read on Audioboom averages 103 seconds versus 74 seconds across the larger sample. Overall, Mancusi says Audioboom live reads across all show categories average 102 seconds, or 22% more value than the wider industry.


The Magellan AI data, which is based on the top 3,000 podcasts in Apple iTunes in January, found among the top ten publishers measured by Podtrac the average live read length was closer to the one minute bought, averaging about 66 seconds. And among the top ten publishers measured by Triton Digital – excluding Audioboom – the average was 80 seconds.

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