Podcast Audience Measurement

I was honoured to speak at the ASI International Radio & Audio Conference in Nice yesterday.

The event was about measuring podcast and radio audio audiences worldwide. Here are some great things I learned from just five of the brilliant speakers who came from across the globe. (The first and last points are the most relevant to podcast marketers.)

1 – Denis Florent, CEO, Denis Florent Media Group

76% of people admit to changing their opinion on something after listening to a podcast.

Most people buy their first smart speaker to replace an old radio. However, we have to be careful because that means Apple, Google, Spotify etc will control the distribution platform. If they choose to, they could insert ads on your podcast or worse remove you completely from their platform. (This has already happened with TuneIn in the UK.) This is why multi-platform is so important for podcasters.

2 – Kristian Tolonen, Head of Audience Research, NRK
Norway turned off their FM transmitters in 2017. Since then, there has only been a slight drop in radio listenership as the population have transferred to the new DAB+ digital radio service. What is interesting is that Norwegians now have access to 35 radio stations nationally (as opposed to the five they had with FM) and overall radio listening has gone up.

3 – Arnaud Annebicque, Director of MetricLine, Médiamétrie
Can podcasts be measured like radio stations? A lot of radio audience measurement is now done using wristbands which people wear all day to measure what they are listening to. Of course, the wristband needs to be able to hear what audio someone is listening to, so the use of headphones was a hot topic at the conference. There were some very clever solutions proposed. As for podcasts having audio watermarks and being included in this measurement, the answer is yes, this is possible.

4 – Daryl Battaglia, SVP Market Development and Strategy, Triton Digital
A large percentage of people listen to the radio via computers, smartphones or smart speakers. The server logs for these streams can give you granular data on when listeners turn on, turn off and even what was playing at the time. This data reflects traditional diary data and is making the overall measurement of audio listening very robust. This server data is something that could also apply to podcasts. Daryl and many others say it will play a bigger part in future measurements.

5 – Alison Winter, Head of Audiences, BBC Radio and Music
After analysing data from RAJAR and their own Sounds app, the BBC’s goal is to get people to listen for 40 to 45 minutes at a time. They find that particular duration drives more loyal listening and repeat listening. This is a great point for podcasters who are thinking about how long their podcast should be.

My thanks to Mike and Richard at ASI for inviting me to speak about podcasting and to all the participants for sharing such great knowledge.

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