Exclusive look: AdLarge 2021 Podcast Buying Guide

Leading podcast ad sales network AdLarge kindly sent us an exclusive preview copy of the company’s new 2021 Podcast Buying Guide, the fourth in an annual series, available HERE. We have admired previous installations of this helpful document for its smart organization and lucid writing.

This year’s edition carries forward those values and introduces new features. AdLarge notes: “While similar to the first three guides by remaining simple to follow and understand, the fourth edition goes beyond the basics of buying and delves into the specifics behind content selection, measurement efficacy, and targeted delivery.”

To accomplish this editorial goal, AdLarge takes a four-E’s approach, dividing the document into four sections: Evaluating, Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Expertise. Throughout, the intent seems to be to modernize advertisers’ view and understanding of contemporary podcast marketing. “Podcast advertising requires a different, more nuanced approach” Founder/CEO Cathy Csukas says in the Guide’s introduction. “That’s kept a lot of brands from either finding success or getting started at all.”

Finding the right approach is emphasized for new advertisers, and the Guide notes that 74% use three or more methods to find podcasts, and 30% use three or more services to vet their podcast choices. So, the initial approach to the podcast market isn’t necessarily simple. A “Podcast Evaluation Checklist” is helpfully provided, and there is an emphasis on a partnership mindset: Advertisers should be seeking partners, not merely shows.

AdLarge fights back against the common perception that podcasting is not equipped with up-to-date analytics that advertisers expect in digital media campaigns. “We call B.S!” the Guide trumpets, citing a range of technologies for measuring campaign performance. The podcast pixel is emphasized and explained, with full acknowledgement that podcast campaigns are usually part of multi-channel marketing efforts.

Environment or scale? That question is a focus in the Efficiency section. Not settling for an easy answer, the Guide explains what the considerations are, noting that podcast ads are sometimes purchased by individual show, or by genre/vertical, or by network, or by audience. The implication, of course, is that AdLarge can guide advertisers through crucial decision-making.

AdLarge takes an “Ask the experts” approach to the final section. Three pros are featured here: Ilwira Marciszec from AdLarge, Brigid Judge (Director of Partnerships, Podsights), and Bryan Barletta (founder and editor of the Sounds Profitable newsletter). The section offers a Q&A approach to illuminate questions about how podcasts are measured, tested, targeted, and the “cookie apocalypse.”

The AdLarge 2021 Podcast Buying Guide is a free download; get it HERE.


Brad Hill