More than anything, listeners want to be able to relate to the content of a podcast. They want to have already seen the movies and TV shows that the host is talking about. They want to have experienced the challenges that the guest shares. And the same is true for any advertising content in the show. Listeners want to feel involved.
Dynamic Ad Insertion (sometimes more accurately called Dynamic Audio Insertion) is a new technology that solves the problem of outdated, irrelevant advertising in podcasting. It works by allowing certain audio segments of the show to be changeable at a later stage, in contrast to ‘baked-in’ podcast audio, which remains the same for eternity. So how is having replaceable audio in your podcast an advantage?
DYNAMIC AD INSERTION ENABLES LISTENERS TO RELATE MORE EASILY
Imagine a listener plays one of your older episodes and hears an ad. Then, they click the link and … the website is gone. This is an example of punishing your listeners for taking an interest in your sponsored content. Not cool. Not clever.
Now imagine that you regularly rotate all the ads in all the episodes of your show using a content management platform. This allows you to order fresh sponsored content which is more up to date. It also means that you’re able to implement analytics data to improve your sponsored content, making it even more specific to your listenership. That’s cool, that’s clever, that’s treating your listeners like royalty.
PODCAST ADS DON’T NEED TO SOUND LIKE ADS
Because podcasting is mostly the domain of newcomers to audio, there are all sorts of problems in making episodes sound consistent. Levels between segments can fluctuate, causing listeners to have to reach for the volume. The tone of a commercial can stick out of your episode content like a sore thumb.
Again, DAI comes to the rescue! By allowing you to make changes to certain segments of the episode audio, you’re able to fine-tune the audio levels and EQ and compress the commercial spots to match the rest of the show. In other words, to really nail the podcast episode editing! After all, persuasive ads most often don’t sound like ads, right?
DYNAMIC AD INSERTION PUTS THE PODCASTER IN CHARGE
Podcast advertising is still in its infancy. And like with all things baby-related, there are teething problems. One problem is controlling the value exchange between advertiser and podcaster. What if you started charging your sponsor a dollar amount for a 30-second spot in the first 10 episodes? Let’s call this amount ‘X’.
Your show is a surprise hit! A year later, the value of those ads you sold is actually 10X, but your sponsor only paid X for them. And the ad is still being heard, long after it was expected to expire. People are still discovering and listening to them.
By having DAI on your side during the ad-selling phase, you can clearly outline the values of the content over time. And if your sponsor isn’t willing to continue advertising, they don’t get a free ride. You’re able to pull the ad without needing to back-edit and reupload 10 episodes, and then go on to sell it to another bidder.
PODCAST ADS CAN SOUND TIMELY
You wouldn’t click through on an ad sponsored by Vine , would you? Effective advertising is either evergreen or topical. Evergreen content is a better match for ‘baked-in’ (non-DAI) advertising because it’s still going to be relevant in 10 years. But topical content tends to attract more attention to riding whatever new fad or news item is currently trending.
DAI is a match made in heaven for podcasts that employ topical advertising. Ads can be replaced across the whole podcast series once a year (or even more frequently). This creates a strong impression among listeners that the show is ‘with it’ enough to care about how old or new their sponsored content is. It’s a total power play, and one that will impress finger-on-the-pulse listeners.
DYNAMIC AD INSERTION IS A MAJOR WIN FOR FUTURE EVENT PROMOS
There is a category of podcasts that are currently falling on their knees thanks to DAI technology: those that promote upcoming events. It’s a lot of work creating sponsored content. Even a 30-second host-read advert might take half a day to script, record, compile, edit, polish, upload and publish. And all that work starts to sound stale to future podcast listeners the minute your event deadline has passed, which is usually within a month of the episode airing.
With DAI, the sponsored content in a podcast episode can now be replaced to include upcoming comedy shows, online workshops, meetings and more. The whole ad doesn’t even need to be re-recorded anymore, just the date. DAI allows those podcasts that frequently promote live events to better capitalize on the urgency of a repeating, deadline-driven ad campaign.
Dynamic ad insertion is actually not that new. We’ve all heard those in-store supermarket promo announcements advertising “two … Farmer Angus hams for just … twelve … ninety-nine”. It’s just a more sophisticated version of this concept, with less static content playing in amongst the dedicated podcast content. NPR has been using DAI for podcasts since at least 2008. The concept has only recently filtered down to the podcast space.
It seems logical to embrace the trend of dynamic ad insertion. It simply makes too much sense to ignore, which is why every major podcasting host is now offering it as one of their services. Perhaps it might still be too soon to say, but it’s likely that as advertising slowly continues to infiltrate podcast content, DAI technology will become a make-or-break factor for podcast hosting services to stay in the game. Regardless of which service eventually owns the space, dynamic ad insertion as a concept is here to stay.