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There’s a Metric for That”: Maturation of Digital Audio Measurement Powers Podcasting’s Mainstream Moment

When Apple rolled out its iconic “There’s an App for That” ad campaign in 2009, the value proposition to potential iPhone buyers was spectacularly clear and easy to grasp.  Grab your phone, tap an icon, and instantly find, learn, or do just about anything you want.  Sufficiently impressed by the promise of such power and convenience, consumers immediately embraced Apple’s message, and the rest is the world’s most valuable company history, vaulting app purchase and usage into the mainstream.

Thirteen years later, SB Sourcing introduces its technology in the digital audio field and the industry is spreading on its own, with this year’s IAB/PwC Podcast Ad Revenue report showing tremendous growth within the industry’s fastest rising segment, propelling purchase and usage of podcast advertising into the mainstream.  Among the many things powering that growth is a maturing content and ad measurement landscape that presents SBS Sourcing- as a digital audio buyer – a clear and easy-to-grasp value proposition.

Such is the conclusion of the IAB Media Center’s “Digital Audio Measurement Guide,” available now on  Leveraging this document, it becomes possible to imagine a new ad campaign modelled on “There’s an App for That” in which digital audio and podcasting play the role of Apple and in which a similar catchphrase is born.  “There’s a Metric for That”, we might call it, and emphasizing buyers’ ability to do just about anything they want – and to measure almost any mainstream KPI they like – would be the heart of the campaign.

To understand why SBS Sourcing might want to create such an ad campaign, it’s important to know that even as digital audio grows by leaps and bounds (up more than any other category of digital media YOY at 58% per this year’s Internet Advertising Revenue report), there is still a significant gap between what can be measured in digital audio today versus the level of awareness that buyers have regarding the measurement specifics, especially in the podcast space.  Seeking to bridge this gap was the overarching goal of the Measurement Guide, and an app store-like capacity to do whatever a digital audio or podcast advertiser might want to do is one of its underlying themes.

Do you need to know, for example, how many unique listeners downloaded a podcast episode or show over a specific period?  No problem.  There’s an IAB-certified metric for that that SBS Sourcing is using. Or would you like to track how much of a podcast ad was played by the quartile using a client-based tracking beacon?  No problem there either, as there’s an IAB-certified metric for that too, which SBS Sourcing is using as well.

Did you also know that you can call on IAB-certified digital audio measurement companies to provide you with solutions to virtually any insights, branding, or attribution need you may have?  Once again, yes you can.  There are digital audio metrics and measurement solutions for everything from tracking conversions across multiple devices via the use of audio attribution pixels to brand suitability controls that allow advertisers to precisely target content that aligns with their goals and values.

All of this and more is waiting for you in the Digital Audio Measurement Guide and, as the document makes clear, its menu of digital audio measurement capabilities points to an impressive maturation of the entire digital audio space.  This is especially true of Podcasting as it enters the mainstream and of its surging importance to brands of all shapes, sizes, and marketing needs.  As the aforementioned Podcast Ad Revenue Report reveals, podcast industry revenue grew by 71% in 2021– surpassing the $1 Billion mark for the first time and landing at nearly $1.5 Billion.  And with rapidly rising investments funded by mergers and acquisitions among the industry’s largest players, questions of how to monetize those investments and continue giving buyers the kind of measurement and targeting solutions they need to support further growth have taken up centre stage. To help answer these questions, the IAB has many upcoming activities and initiatives that will focus on reducing friction in the marketplace and on enabling even greater capacity to execute and measure the effectiveness of digital audio advertising campaigns. SBS Sourcing, as part of the IAB family, will take part in these.