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Podcast Ad Performance Improved In Fourth Quarter, Says Latest Podsights Analysis.

From football to Santa Claus, there is no shortage of distractions during the year-end months. But Podsights’ Quarterly Benchmark Report says the average podcast ad saw an uptick in its conversion rate during the quarter when compared to the prior quarter.

The average conversion rate – the number of people who visit a site after hearing a podcast commercial – was 1.42% during the fourth quarter, per Podsights. That compares to a 1.24% rate during Q3 or a 14% quarter-to-quarter lift. “Conversion rates grew from Q3 2021 likely due to the holiday season,” it explains. But the average was down nine percent versus a year ago when the average conversion rate for a podcast ad was 1.56%.

While the average rate last quarter was 1.42%, Podsights data shows several advertising categories had significantly better results in getting listeners to visit their websites. The high rate was professional services ads (3.08%), with gambling (2.20%), automotive (1.96%), entertainment and media (1.81%), and retail (1.79%) ads all outperforming the average rate.

When it comes to conversation rates, more is better the analysis shows. “Based on our data, brands saw up to 33% improvement on conversion rate when running on multiple networks,” says Podsights.

Its report reveals that advertisers that ran ads on a great number of ad networks had higher conversion rates during the quarter. Those that ran ads on just one network had a rate of 1.09% versus a 1.29% rate for those using between two and ten publishers. Marketers that used 11 or more publishers did even better, with an average 1.45% conversion rate on their ads.

Despite that, Podsights says many marketers haven’t received the memo. “We are seeing more new brands entering podcast advertising that are advertising with a single publisher,” its report says.

It is not just how far and wide a podcast ad is spread that matters. Where the ad is placed in a show also makes a difference.

“This quarter, mid-roll outperformed pre-roll placements by almost 20% in incremental conversion rate” the report says. Podsights says mid-roll ads averaged 0.87% conversion compared to 0.73% for pre-roll ads. “As post-roll is often the least expensive placement, it rounds out the bottom line for performance marketing advertisers,” the report says, noting they averaged a 0.48% conversion during fourth quarter.

The latest update from Podsights also points to an evolution in not only how podcast ads are delivered, but also how those changes are being received by listeners.

Historically, embedded ads have seen a better conversion rate performance than dynamically-inserted ads. But Podsights says that gap has been closing quarter over quarter. In its latest update, it says embedded or so-called “baked-in” ads had a mere 0.05% lead in conversion rates over ads that were dynamically inserted.

The numbers also show not all advertising categories are responding the same. Gambling ads had twice as high a conversion rate in dynamically-inserted ads as embedded adds, while the reverse was the case for automotive ads where embedded ads were far more impactful. Baked-in ads also did better in ad categories such as restaurants, health and wellness, travel and consumer packaged goods – all categories where host-read ads often rely on personal stories and experiences.

Based on the data, Podsights says brands testing podcast advertising should run between 400,000 and 800,000 ad impressions. Once validated, it recommends brands looking to scale should run more than four million impressions to maximize their return on investment.

The Podsights Benchmark Report is based on a rolling average of 12 months of data including about 7.8 billion ad impressions and more than 3,500 campaigns for nearly 900 brands that spent an estimated $300 million combined on podcasting. The company estimates it captures one of every four dollars spent in the space.

Download the latest Podsights Quarterly Benchmark Report HERE.

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