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Podcasting is growing up. With a greater emphasis on metrics and standardization—perhaps none more emblematic than the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s V2.0 standards that look to standardize what a “download” is—there is more consensus that the industry has moved beyond its “Wild West” days.

“Having standards that everyone has to adhere to is clearly critical to leveling the playing field and advancing the space,” said Scott Klass, Senior VP of Marketing for audio effectiveness company Veritonic, in an interview with AW360. He said that this leads to the inevitable “growing pains” that all podcasters need to endure in order to move beyond just giving advertisers download numbers, instead to more in-depth data that allows them to make better-informed decisions. “It’s about transparency and effort; the businesses will ultimately be happy they did,” said Klass.

Those upgrades are how the industry intends to reach IAB/PwC forecasts that podcast industry revenue will top $1 billion in 2021. There’s also NPR’s effort to roll out its Remote Audio Data (RAD) system that helps a marketer determine whether its spots were listened to.

Klass told AW360 that there’s “more scrutiny” around listenership and download numbers, while ad buyers are also increasingly exploring different creative techniques to reach consumers through the medium. “The real thing to watch will be the deeper dive into analytics,” he predicted.

It’s a trend not lost on podcast producers like Matthew Billy, creator of the “Between the Liner Notes” podcast. He told AW360 the standardization push is giving marketers the security of knowing what their ad dollars are buying: “This is a major reason podcast ad buying has been increasing 24% per year.”