Nearly 60% of marketers don’t understand programmatic ad-buying, according to Acast

Yet programmatic ad spend in podcasting is expected to triple in the next five years

Only 42% of marketers have a detailed understanding of programmatic buying, according to a new study by independent podcast company Acast. 

The report on ‘The Rise of Programmatic Podcast Ad Buying’ surveyed nearly 500 marketers and advertisers in the US from 5-21 December 2022 in order to improve knowledge and learn about the future of programmatic buying in the podcast industry. 

“Podcast advertising and programmatic ad-buying are in this moment of simultaneous, rapid growth, yet there are still so many myths and misunderstandings about both held by media buyers,” said Acast global head of ad innovation, Elli Dimitroulakos. “As the first study that looks specifically at programmatic ad-buying in podcasting, this research enables Acast to better meet the needs of advertisers by first understanding – and filling – the knowledge gaps that are so prevalent in the industry.”

According to Acast, the report concluded that marketers are not informed enough when it comes to programmatic buying, as fewer than half of the marketers were able to pick out the correct definition of it and be admitted to the study. Of those admitted, only 59% have actually participated in programmatic ad-buying. 

Despite the lack of knowledge, the report also projected that programmatic spending in podcast shares is expected to triple over the next five years, with 11-15% of podcast ad spend expected to be transacted programmatically.

The popularity stems from reasons such as the majority of marketers opting for self-service tools when it comes to buying and booking ad campaigns (51%), and programmatic advertising serves that freedom and has flexibility to do that. Additionally, podcast ads can be considered more effective as only 16% of marketers think there are too many ads on podcasts – compared to 33% for radio – and nearly half of podcast ads end up in the top 2.5% of podcasts. 

In a recent PodPod episode, Acast CEO Ross Adams highlighted that the US podcast market is still considered “incredibly immature” when it comes to digital advertising and programmatic advertising due to its reliance on direct response advertisers and host-read ads. 

“If you think about the longtail of podcasters that are launching and the amount of podcasters still launching podcasts today, programmatic is a fantastic way of monetising the longtail and programmatic doesn't mean crap CPMs and crap ads,” said Adams. “Programmatic advertising is a really growing part of our business and one of the fastest-growing areas.”