Two decades after podcasting was born, and with nearly two billion dollars of revenue expected to be spent on the medium this year, the industry still does not always speak the same language when dealing with marketers – or each other. There is a new effort to change that, in a move that could help make podcasting even more attractive to ad buyers. The research and advocacy firm Sounds Profitable is teaming up with more than a dozen industry players to create what amounts to a dictionary of podcasting terms.
Bryan Barletta, Partner at Sounds Profitable, says the Podcast Industry Glossary will be a centralized and collaborative resource to appropriately define and govern the terms critical to operating in the business side of podcasting. “We set out to create a repository of terms and definitions companies can confidently incorporate into their support documentation, educational materials, and sales collateral,” he said.
The first draft of the Podcast Industry Glossary was released Wednesday. The group is hoping that others will review the terms during the next few weeks and provide feedback on the definitions, or even add new terms that they may have missed. Once finalized, the glossary will be made available for the industry to adopt and incorporate into their own material. “Our plan is to revisit these terms on an annual basis as our industry continues to evolve,” Barletta said.
If podcasters have any doubt some things need to be cleared up, they need to look no farther than Ad Results Media. One of the biggest buyers of audio advertising in the U.S. says it still runs into definitional hurdles as it approaches podcasters.
“I have spoken on panels and with people, who have been in the industry for a long time, that use terms incorrectly – leveraging host-read and baked-in as synonyms; that listeners, downloads and impressions are all the same and many more,” said Lisa Jacobs, Senior VP of Media Operations. “It is time that we define, as an industry, the different terms for who is reading ads, the way ads are inserted and the way we measure so that we can focus on growth instead of decoding verbiage,” she said.
The language hang-ups are likely already costing the industry money, says Gumball VP Dane Cardiel. “Lack of transparency and alignment of terms make us less efficient as an industry, and attempting to transact with definitions that aren’t similar leads to frustration and potentially some parties being taken advantage of,” he said. “Collaborating with each other on standardization efforts like this one is our quickest path to broader adoption of podcasting as a viable [and] robust marketing channel.”
Barletta says they are taking feedback on the draft Podcast Industry Glossary through August 2. See the list of definitions HERE.