Now we know what the podcast market is worth. And soon we'll know how many of the ABC's missing listeners are podcasting instead
Welcome to a Friday update from Unmade, the morning after our retail media conference RE:Made. More on that in tomorrow’s edition of Best of the Week. On a related matter, apologies for even more typos than usual this morning. The last time I recall seeing my reading (or more to the point, writing) glasses was when I left them on the lectern at the end of the event last night.
Today: takeouts from Wednesday’s IAB Audio Summit, and Thursday’s movements of The Unmade Index.
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ABC joins the podcast party, nearly four years late
The IAB is fast putting down the marker as the industry body that likes to collaborate.
At the end of the month, it will running a digital out of home event alongside the Oudoor Media Association. Yesterday, the IAB’s CEO Gai Le Roy was on stage at RE:Made to present the first findings of its Retail Media State of the Nation report.
And on Wednesday, the IAB’s focus was on audio, in an event presented alongside Commercial Radio Australia (or Commercial Radio & Audio, as the CRA recently rebranded itself).
The Audio Summit (which is repeated in Melbourne next week, incidentally) was worth attending. Not only was there more detail from Monday’s revelation of the first digital audio advertising spending data, but there was a big announcement around the Australian Podcast Ranker.
As CRA boss Ford Ennals revealed, the ABC is finally coming on board - three-and-a-half-years after promising to do so when the ranker launched.
Gradually, the Podcast Ranker, produced by Triton Digital, has become a decent picture of the wider podcasting landscape. Initially it had felt like a ranker only of the podcasts put out by the radio companies.
Mamamia’s arrival on the ranker at the end of last year created a clearer picture, but the absence of the ABC has always left it an incomplete picture.
Despite being non commercial (except for some of its podcasts on Spotify), the ABC did not have an ideological problem with being on the ranker. It was more a case of it not getting to grips with the technicalities needed to make the information available, and without a clamour of advertisers asking it to justify the absence, failing to prioritise it.
However, as listening audiences to the ABC’s broadcast output have fallen, the justification that everybody is listening to ABC podcasts instead, has looked weak without the third party data to prove it.
There will, however, still be a slight wait. The Podcast Ranker requires a full month of data and I understand the ABC wasn’t quite ready to start on Wednesday, when March began. So it will be the April ranking at the earliest. That means a first data release on May 16.
The other missing part of the puzzle revealed this week was how much money is actually being spent by advertisers in the podcast sector.
The collaboration with CRA has seen tracking of digital audio spend added to the IAB’s ongoing Online Advertising Expenditure Report which is run by PWC.
In 2022, audio streaming pulled in $138.7m, while podcasts pulled in another $82.5m in advertising dollars.
What’s not clear is how much of that $221m is genuinely new money and how much is being reallocated out of existing radio budgets; my hunch is that much of that streaming money is old radio dollars.
The $82.5m coming into podcasting are among the hardest fought dollars in the media industry. That’s roughly the size of the Perth radio market, but with 100 times the competition.
However, the growth story is the key. If it’s going to break through as a mainstream advertising medium, podcasting revenue will need to see a 30%+ growth rate this year.
Ooh Media pulls Unmade Index downwards
The Unmade Index sagged a little more on Thursday, dropping by a further 0.28% to 644.8, takings its fall into a fourth consecutive day.
Yesterday’s drop came despite most of the ASX-listed media and marketing stocks making modest gains. However, Ooh Media, which had been bucking the general downwards trend by nudging upwards in recent days, again went against the norm. dropping 3.37%.
Out of home minnow Motio offered its half year to the market yesterday. We’ll look at that properly in tomorrow’s edition of Best of the Week.
Time to leave you to your end-of-week triumphs and disasters.
I’ll be back tomorrow with BotW.
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