What You Need To Know About The Debate Over Podcasting Metrics
March 1, 2016
After more than a decade, commercial radio is finally waking up to the world of podcasting. (Public radio has been involved in the space for some time.) It's still early, but on-demand audio could eventually represent a significant source of revenue for traditional broadcasters, which is why we've seen companies like Scripps and Hubbard invest money into podcasting ventures.
To persuade advertisers to spend money, podcasters will need reliable metrics to show potential clients. Do these metrics currently exist?
That depends on who you ask.
Westwood One recently commissioned a study that concluded that while an increasing number of companies are interested in advertising in podcasts, a perceived lack of measurement is holding them back. A special public radio committee has recently issued guidelines for podcast measurement, declaring that "Measurement of podcast usage is, at best, the Wild West." And Nielsen is promising to measure all audio listening in the coming years with their SDK.
Meanwhile, some of podcasting's forefathers argue that not only do reliable metrics already exist, but the methodology used to measure podcasting is actually far superior to the way terrestrial radio measures its listening. There's concern among the podcasting community that the corporate conglomerates are rushing into the podcasting space without doing their homework first.
Want to catch up on the podcasting metrics debate? Here's where to start:
- The Wall Street Journal recently published an article outlining the challenges of podcast measurement and monetization.
- Pierre Bouvard, CMO of Cumulus Media / Westwood One, recaps the findings on podcast monetization in the study his company just commissioned.
- A special committee for public radio recently released new guidelines for podcast measurement.
- Ray Ortega hosted a Podcasters Roundtable discussion on the standardization of podcast metrics with a number of podcasting experts, including Todd Cochrane of Raw Voice / Blubrry, Rob Greenlee of Spreaker, Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast, and Dave Jackson of School of Podcasting.
- Todd Cochrane, the CEO of podcast services company Raw Voice / Blubrry, discusses the current state of podcasting metrics in a guestpost on the Jacobs Media Blog titled, "5 Things You Should Know About Podcast Measurement."
This promises to be a lively debate in the coming year as broadcasters embrace podcasting and look for ways to monetize the space. Now is the time to educate yourself on the topic.
NEXT STEP: I will be hosting a session at the 2016 Worldwide Radio Summit titled, "Broadcasters Meet Podcasters: How Radio Stations Can Enter the World of On-Demand Audio." My panelists will include:
- Andy Bowers, Chief Content Officer, Panoply Media
- Todd Cochrane, CEO, Raw Voice / Blubrry
- Eric Nuzum, Senior Vice President of Original Content Development, Audible
- Rob Walch, VP, Podcaster Relations, Libsyn
I hope you'll be able to join us!