Podcasts are now becoming fit for purpose: Acast’s Joe Copeman #RDE21

Acast’s Managing Director  Joe Copeman gave Radiodays Europe delegates an insight into what podcast advertisers want now and into the future.

He summed it up in five words: innovation, relevance, efficiency, transparency and effectiveness.


“In the past many podcasts were rambling,  or they were created for radio but not quite fit for purpose. But right now the best podcasts are fit for purpose, they are well produced and the length is right, some are short, some are long, but they are all fit for the purpose they serve.”

Branded content has exploded, according to Copeman, with a range of offerings for podcast advertisers, including branded segments within podcasts, full branded episodes and whole series.

“Advertisers are now seeing podcasts as brands in themselves, they revolve around hosts and they provide a full ecosystem such as socials and live events… advertisers can now think about doing innovative campaigns.

“Podcasters should see more and more advertising rewards coming their way,” he said.

Copeman highlighted the emergence of “conversational marketing,” using AI to transcribe audio so that advertisers can be offered “a way into the conversation” using key words to cut through in areas of relevance that can be shared easily on social media and other platforms.

Acast has seen more than a 200% increase in revenue for podcasters in the past year with an average of 70% of inventory regularly filled. Audio content is being shared on facebook and youtube, creating an attractive market for advertisers.

As the podcast advertising market grows further Copeman warned that transparency and reporting are becoming increasingly important. “Advertisers want to know where the ad impressions fall with detailed granular reporting.”

“Podcast advertising works, we know that,” he said. Podcasting has proven itself in many ways, for instance advertisers can clearly see the relationship between signups and podcast advertising, but Copeman says podcast companies such as Acast are now moving beyond that to greater attribution modelling that will make podcasts more attractive to big companies that have bigger budgets.

No matter how big podcast advertising becomes, Copeman maintains that advertisers must understand that “the most important relationship is between the podcaster and the listener.”

Session moderator Rune Born Schwarz drew an analogy between the radio and podcasting businesses and fishing.

“Podcasting is often a passion project, but how can you go beyond that to make money,” he asked, using a fishing analogy.

Schwarz originally worked in government radio, “where the fish come in a truck every day, you don’t have to worry about fishing you can just talk about your favourite fish recipes.  Then he worked in commercial radio “where you sail a big trawler to catch the maximum amount of fish.” Now he works in podcasting where you fish with a line and hope to catch enough to eat each day.

“It’s a nice hobby to fish for fun, but you need to fish to live,” he said.




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