Is iHeart scamming the podcasting industry? That's the implication of an article this week that was widely discussed in the podcasting world.
The story is from Bloomberg and written by Ashley Carman, one of the most respected reporters in our industry. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-27/inside-podcasters-explosive-audience-growth
Advertising buys in podcasting are based on audience size - downloads and streams. According to Carman, publishers are buying ads inside mobile games. The publisher can claim a dubious download, as WELL as an ad impression for a commercial that may not be heard.
Are they gaming the system? Well, opinions are all over the map on that. For a deeper dive, you can check out this week's Podcast SuperFriends Roundtable where I discuss it with four of my colleagues. https://www.soundoff.network/show/the-podcast-super-friends/podcast-married/
Tanner Campbell suggests in his Good Morning Podcasters newsletter that iHeart isn't doing anything wrong here. https://tannerhelps.substack.com/p/iheartradio-isnt-doing-anything-wrong?r=19niz3&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email
Here are my key takeaways. Will the industry correct for this practice? After this much publicity, I believe it will. Much the same way as Apple Podcasts and Google Search always find a way to punish folks who try to game the system.
Also, will this affect your show? No. Unless you are in the rarified air of a large podcast, with huge download numbers, that sells advertising based off of those numbers, this has no bearing on you, or your show.
But there is a concern over that anything that hurts the credibility of the podcasting industry.
In other podcasting news, PodNews reports that the average length of a podcast is shrinking, from 53 to 37 minutes.
New podcasts are out from Stephen A. Smith and the CIA this week.
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Until next week, stay healthy and stay safe - especially our friends in Florida. Lata!