There is a new report out from NPR (National Public Radio) that they expect to double the revenue from their podcasts in this year alone. They are the originators of hit podcasts including This American Life, which offers different slices of American life from dark and moody to light and silly, Fresh Air with Terry Gross which includes some of the most interesting interviews with popular icons, and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, a silly game show where panelists and callers try to guess the answers to questions about popular news shows. The increase in revenue from advertising on these podcasts has enabled NPR to create even more hit podcasts in the past year, such as Code Switch which is a cast about race. While NPR is the top podcast publisher, the number 2 and 3 spots are held by local public radio stations such as WBEZ Chicago and WNYC.
Analysts believe that the reason podcasts are only starting to take off now as an advertising medium, though they have been around for the better part of 10 years, because brands are only now starting how to figure out how to best leverage the medium to their advantage, as are ad publishers such as NPR. At first they only had “pre-roll” ads which would be read before the show started, but ever since they have started to ad in a mid-show ad, the sales have started to take off. With the “mid-roll” ads, the host reads the copy, so it doesn’t feel like such an interruption in the podcast, and could be absorbed better by listeners, according to some industry experts. Perhaps another reason why people respond to podcast ads is explained by Gina Garrubo, the president and CEO of National Public Media: “We’ve found that three-quarters of our listeners report feeling warmth and they have a more positive opinion of brands that support NPR and three-quarters of them take action in response to sponsor messages.”
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