Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

New Study Shows That All This Ad Targeting Doesn’t Really Work

I’m shocked.

Meanwhile, spending on ads in podcasts just keeps growing — most of that is not targeted and only barely tracked through the use of referral or discount codes. Patience Haggin, Wall Street Journal:

U.S. advertisers spent $479.1 million advertising on podcasts in 2018, up 53% from about $313.9 million a year earlier, according to a new report from the industry group Interactive Advertising Bureau and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC.

Podcast advertising is expected to rise to $678.7 million this year, the report said.


Podcasters and their advertisers are still waiting for a standard, widely used method of measuring listens, which would provide more precise audience metrics than download counts.

Podcasts don’t need more specific numbers. Television, radio, and magazines did really well for decades on approximate audience sizes. The appearance of precision is a relatively new phenomenon for advertisers and it’s often inaccurate and, in many ways, is inherently flawed.

Also, I’d be willing to bet that podcasters and advertisers aren’t the ones pushing for more data on listeners; ad tech companies conveniently represented by the Interactive Advertising Bureau almost certainly are.