There was a throttling back of podcast advertising during the second quarter as ad frequency levels retreated for the first time in nearly a year. The latest Podsights Benchmark Report shows that had an impact on average conversion rates among listeners, which bounced back from an all-time low set during the first quarter.
During the second quarter ad frequency retreated to a 4.76 frequency rate, down 25% from the record 6.32 frequency recording during first quarter. Frequency is the number of times a household is exposed to an ad, so that means based on Podsights data, among the campaigns it analyzes, the typical listener heard the ad about five times.
The current quarter came in at the top end of the two- to five-times range that Podsights recommends marketers embrace. And the average frequency during Q2 is more than a third higher than it was a year ago. But Podsights says the podcast industry is moving in the right direction. “For the first time, since Q3 2021, we are seeing frequency meet our recommendation,” the report says.
Frequency rates have been under scrutiny since Podsights data has been suggesting for the past year that despite a bounty of ads turning up in listener earbuds, the return on ad spending was not as high as it has been for marketers. The latest report delivers some good news on that front.
The decrease in frequency appears to be positively impacting ad conversion rates, or the number of people who visit a website after hearing a podcast ad. “The average conversion rate for site visitors is 1.17% in Q2 2022,” the report says. “Podsights speculates that the increased conversion rate can be attributed to the reduction in frequency this period.” That reverses a trend that has been recorded during the past year that has shown what the company says is an inverse relationship between frequency and conversion rate.
Podsights has said, however, that frequency is just one factor contributing to lowering conversion rates. Another big factor is tied to the success that podcasters have had attracting new clients into the medium. The result is that as more brands become podcast advertisers, some brands will inevitably have less appeal to listeners.
The data shows that advertisers running ads on more than one publisher continue to have higher conversion rates. Those who run podcast advertisements on between two and ten publishers or networks saw the highest average conversion rate of 1.32%.
Advertisers running ads on 11 or more publishers had a 1.08% conversion rate, but that was up 19% compared to first quarter --- the only segment that had a quarter-to-quarter gain. Those marketers that limited themselves to just one publisher had the lowest conversion score of 1.05% according to Podsights. It also says that brands running more than 400,000 impressions are seeing higher conversion rates.
“Dynamic ad conversion rates surpassed embedded ads again this period, with dynamic leading by 63%,” the report also noted. “This period, dynamically inserted ads had an average of 1.37% while embedded ads had an average conversion rate of 0.84%.” Dynamic Ads represent 85% of the ads run on Podsights.
Podsights also analyzed how the different ads performed based on their placement within an episode. It found that pre-roll ads outperformed mid-roll ads by five percent, but the average conversation rate for both grew by the relatively same rate. Pre-roll’s conversion rate increased 13% from first quarter to 1.16%. And mid-roll’s conversion rate rose 12% to 1.10%. Post-roll ads continue to trail with a conversion rate of 0.83%, but Podsights notes that is even with the prior quarter.
Podsights has also added a new data point to its quarterly update – the number of ads that it measures that are host-read or produced. During second quarter it says a majority 56% of the ads were produced, while 44% were host-read ads.
The data comes from Podsights’ Quarterly Benchmark Report, based on a rolling average of 12 months of data including about 7 billion ad impressions and more than 3,000 campaigns for 938 brands that spent a combined $530 million on podcasting. The company estimates it captures one of every four dollars spent in the space, an increase from its previous share of one of four dollars.
Download the latest Podsights Quarterly Benchmark Report HERE.