Direct response advertisers have opened brand advertisers upto the potential of podcasting. So says Kristina Lutz, Starcom’s President of Investment. In an interview with Digiday, she says the rigorous metrics direct response companies use to determine whether a medium is selling product is helping. “I’m seeing more brand advertising come into it right now,” Lutz says. “People are saying, ‘Well, if it’s working for those advertisers who have those rigorous standards, then it must be working.’ That’s what’s driving some of that brand advertising.”
The lack of what Lutz calls an “acceptable” third-party measurement of podcasting is for the moment being overlooked. That’s in part because companies like iHeartMedia and Pandora are offering buyers some of their own metrics. “Attribution is the last major hurdle for podcasting,” she says. “As soon as we have more information and data there that can drive decision-making that will open the floodgates probably for more revenue.”
One hurdle for podcasters to overcome in attribution modeling is the inability to know whether a show that’s been downloaded has actually been listened to. That’s not a problem with podcasts that are streamed, and Lutz says a move to more of that kind of consumption would help the industry boost its appeal to marketers. “If we get to the point where the majority of listenership is streaming, that will make a huge difference because then you can measure a podcast like you would measure any other digital audio,” she says. “The switch from downloading to streaming – that is what is going to affect attribution and measurement in the future.”
Lutz, a veteran ad agency executive who spent five years (2012-2017) at iHeartMedia before returning to the agency world, also tells Digiday that Starcom is looking for ways to make live-read ads more scalable. “One approach is making it a little less custom,” she says. That could involve recording a few versions of an ad and then plugging those reads into a podcast based on the gender of the host or the tone of the show.
Read the full Q&A here.