The Podcast Upfront earlier this week, produced by the IAB, was the best one day audio conference the industry has ever seen. Set in the beautiful auditorium at the Time Inc building in NYC, the second annual event brought tons of energy and excitement for podcasts to the audience of potential advertisers. It featured many presentations – each segment was great – some due to celebrity podcaster presence, some due to really great insights. Highlights of the day included celebrities: Katie Couric, Ira Glass, Malcolm Gladwell, Questlove, Abby Wambach, Shaquille O’Neal, Marc Maron, Adam Carolla, Amber Rose, and others, all touting their podcasts and ad opportunities. Michael Rapaport from Play.it podcast I Am Rapaport stole the show as the host for the afternoon. And information – new research from Edison and IAB, a case study from New York Life, insights on audience and advertising from WNYC, a great immersive audio experience from Wondery, and more, more, more. It was an incredibly dense, powerful day for podcasting full of hip, fun, interesting, diverse energy. When the show wrapped up after almost 8 hours of stagetime, the seats were still as full as they were when the show started – evidence of the high quality of the program.
One of the most meaningful segments was WNYC’s presentation which was chock full of really great data on their podcast platform, which sees 30 million downloads a month. CFO Margaret Hunt had several really great data points to share that advertisers were sure to take note of:
- 91% of listeners to their podcasts complete the program they are listening to.
- 95% of their listeners have taken action as a result of hearing an ad in a podcast
Hunt then introduced Kari Axberg, VP Strategy & Experience at New York Life, who presented a case study on a podcast campaign they ran with WNYC which netted tremendous results, including:
- 14% lift in brand awareness
- 47% lift in brand favorability
- 33% lift in purchase consideration
Impactful stuff. Possibly the most meaningful info of the day in terms of motivating the advertisers in the room to spend more in the medium.
The day ended with a loud and lively cocktail reception featuring a live podcast experience with Adam Carolla and Shaquille O’Neal. There were photo ops all over the place. Katie didn’t come to the party, but I did get a selfie with Abby Wambach that made my daughter jealous 🙂