Podcast advertising metrics haven’t kept pace with consumer adoption, but that gap is quickly closing. The marketing research company Claritas was the latest to extend its reach into the audio marketplace, announcing last month that it would begin mining its database of 120 million households and more than 900 million devices to offer a podcast attribution tool. But Claritas has more up its sleeve than it first announced. The company acquired the attribution platform Barometric in November 2018, giving it data on more than 100 advertisers. That’s allowed Claritas to offer marketers cross-channel analysis of which media options are more effective for their brands than others. That data is now allowing a side-by-side comparison to podcast advertising, and the results are putting on-demand audio in a positive light.
Claritas says that while non-podcast media channels typically result in a 2.6% lift in conversions — with common channels such as digital display at 1.1% lift, print at 2.4% and linear TV at 3.1% — podcast channels are driving a whopping 34% average lift. The analysis was done across industries, such as consumer packaged goods, automotive, direct brands, finance and insurance.
In a new report, Claritas and Market Enginuity take aim at the difficulty of accurately measuring podcast ad effectiveness in influencing consumer behavior. The white paper concludes vanity URLs, coupon codes and one-question post-purchase surveys “miss the vast majority” of actual conversions. It suggests that special URLs only work on “a niche consumer” while coupon codes can increase sale and supply some information — but lack enough data to provide full attribution. It suggests that comparing consumer lift data for podcasts against the information gathered from four years of Barometric research proves podcasts’ overall effectiveness for advertisers.
“With any channel — but especially with one growing as quickly as podcasting — marketers are focused on understanding the channel’s impact on driving conversions compared to other channels they’re investing in,” said Matt Drengler, VP of Business Development at Claritas.
The just-released white paper includes a case study in how one of the largest meal-kit providers in the U.S. recently integrated podcasting and streaming into its audio mix and enlisted Claritas to see which worked better to boost sales and whether the two platforms cannibalized one another. The analysis showed 1.8% of those exposed to podcast advertising converted into buyers compared to 0.7% of those exposed to streaming audio. Claritas concluded households exposed via podcast were converting at a rate 2.5 times that of streaming audio. And by comparing to a control group that didn’t hear the podcast ads, it was able to determine the podcast ads provided an 81% lift in conversions for the meal-kit company.
“While podcast conversion rates were higher than streaming, it was concluded that both channels provided a positive lift,” the study says. “Since they were not cannibalizing each other, it was recommended that the meal-kit provider should continue investing in both channels to optimize conversion opportunities.”
“In the current media landscape where more agencies and marketers are in need of data to provide insights on their buying decisions, it’s important to understand what is available and how to best use the information to inform decisions on both the buy and sell side,” said Market Enginuity EVP/Chief Revenue Officer Harry Clark. “Our work with Claritas has revealed exciting data that supports what we’ve always known intuitively, that podcast advertising has profound impact for our sponsors.”
Entercom last month became the first company to sign with Claritas to offer clients data on how their podcast and other digital audio ads translate into sales. Claritas sees a growing opportunity to expand its service into podcasting and called the Entercom alliance a “game changer” since it is bringing more visibility to that effort. It is also working with other podcast companies such as PRX, which relied on the research company’s data when it released a snapshot of PRX listeners in October.