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What Do Programmatic Podcast Ads Sound Like? New Analysis Offers Some Insights.

With most podcast ads running 30-seconds or longer, there is a lot of media real estate for brands to work with. But how are they filling that space? Acast and Veritonic teamed up to analyze what podcast ads in the U.S. and other regions of the world have in common and it also discovered some common threads. That included a propensity to use a single talent for the voiceover content.

The analysis of ads that were bought programmatically shows the U.S. was where ads are most likely to be longer than 30-seconds. Here, eight in ten ads fall in that bucket. While they run the risk of turning off listeners, Veritonic says those ads performed at three percent above its average benchmark intent score for podcast ads.

The review also shows that the gender split for voice talent in U.S. podcast ads is fairly balanced with 50% of the ads featuring a female voiceover, and 47% featuring a male voice. The remaining three percent of ads included both men and women. There were also plenty of other sound elements to be heard. Veritonic says 40% of the ads it analyzed included a sound effect, such as birds chirping, wind chimes or an alarm clock ringing for added impact.

Of the ads analyzed that contained a branding element, Veritonic says 92% of the elements were placed at the end of the ad only, as opposed to the beginning of the ad or the beginning, middle, and end. Of the ads analyzed that contained a call-to-action element, 88% were exclusively at the end of the ad. The most common prompts were "visit", "click" and "call.” Surprisingly, none of the ads featured a promo code – something that was once a go-to for podcast advertisers.

How does the U.S. compare? According to the research, across all markets the majority of ads were a minimum of 30 seconds in length. In Europe and the Middle East, 73% of the examined ads compared to 56% in Australia and New Zealand where the remaining 44% in the market were 15 seconds in length. However, when it came to gender detection in voiceover content, dissimilarities were more noticeable. For instance, in Australia and New Zealand 53% of the creatives featured a female voiceover, but just 27% a male voice, and 20% contained both a female and a male voiceover. While in near equal numbers, the three regions all used sound effects in slightly less than the majority of programmatic ads, which Veritonic says indicates that this may be a newly emerging trend in the space.

“As an industry there is still a lot of myth-busting to do around programmatic ad buying,” said Elli Dimitroulakos, Global Head of Ad Innovation at Acast. “Podcast advertising is effective because it’s a seamless part of the listening experience and that shouldn’t change based on how a transaction occurs. Programmatic ads can – and should – have creative elements that enhance the listener experience and brand relationship.”

Veritonic, which built is audio business on audio branding, has seen more marketers look to creative testing as they invest in podcasting.

“Hope is not a strategy; it’s no longer enough for a brand to create an audio asset and simply hope it’ll move the needle,” said Scott Simonelli, CEO of Veritonic. “Having confidence that your marketing efforts and investments will pay off is crucial, especially in today’s economy. With audio reaching more than 214 million adults in the U.S. monthly and having a 36% higher impact on memory than video, marketers need to be leveraging creative testing solutions like the Veritonic platform to ensure they are putting their best audio creative forward, regardless of how the ad itself is purchased or served.”

Download the U.S. analysis HERE.

Download the Australia-New Zealand analysis HERE.

Download the Europe-Middle East analysis HERE.

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