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Host-Read Podcast Ads Aren't Always The Right Answer
Episode 420th April 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:11:52

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Evo Terra:

Everyone agrees that pre-produced, lifted-from-radio

Evo Terra:

ads suck on podcasts and that the host-read ad is the clear winner.

Evo Terra:

But is that true for every podcast?

Evo Terra:

More importantly, is it true for your podcast?

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

This is going to sound a little odd, but please bear with me.

Evo Terra:

It's about podcast advertising and I've a contrary opinion.

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Are you ready for it?

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I think we put too much emphasis on the host-read ad for podcasting.

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Not that I have any doubts as to the myriad case studies and the

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reports that have confirmed that, yes, podcasting's host-read ads beat

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the pants off of just about every other form of audio advertising.

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From unaided brand recall to an increase in purchase intent, higher affinities

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and familiarities, host-read ads are clearly superior to announcer-read ads.

Evo Terra:

Or are they?

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Well, yes, probably, probably they are.

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But only, only if your podcast or the podcast you work on has

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cultivated an intimate relationship with the listeners of the show.

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Now, that phrase might've sent you scrambling for a drink if you're

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playing the "Podcasting Is An Intimate Medium Drinking Game."

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Which has one simple rule I'm sure you can figure out on your own.

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Or when you heard me say that a moment ago, perhaps it set off alarm

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bells because perhaps you haven't cultivated said intimate relationship.

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Yes, drink again.

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And maybe you can't.

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See, this is the part of the episode where I remind you that podcasting

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more describes the distribution medium than it describes the content.

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Now, if you've been with me for a while, this will come as no surprise to

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you, but if you're brand new it might.

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So let me state this clearly, podcasting is not a content format.

Evo Terra:

Podcasts do not, and should not, all sound the same or follow the same content flow.

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To that end, and because of that and perhaps shocking to you, not all

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podcasts have a host who cultivates or even earns an intimate relationship

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with the listeners of the podcast.

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And without that intimate relationship - you might, by the way, want to pause

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the drinking game or you're going to get really drunk even before the sponsor break

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- host-read ads just don't work as well.

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Sometimes announcer ads actually work better on some shows.

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Now, before you brand me as a heretic, let me make my case.

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You see, host-read ads work really, really well.

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Not because the host is reading them.

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And I know that sounds weird.

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They work really, really well because the host has developed that intimate

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relationship with the audience and their audience has come to either

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trust the recommendations of that host, or they personally want to do

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something nice to help that host.

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Like perhaps buy something that they know the host benefits from.

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And it's that recommendation aspect that makes host-read ads

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on podcasts work so stinking well.

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When the audience is deeply connected to the host, or at least feels they

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are deeply connected to the host, they, the audience, is receptive to

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receiving recommendations from that host.

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And so a host-read ad is a recommendation.

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Albeit one the host is paid to make.

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But that recommendation power only goes so far.

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And it's defined more or less by the domain of the topics and

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issues discussed on that podcast.

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Some examples.

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Would I take either Andrew's or Don's recommendations on what car I should buy?

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Well, sure.

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They both host car-focused podcasts.

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But would their recommendations on what type of life insurance I

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should buy be as effective on me?

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Well, probably not.

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But if Suzy recommended a good quality pair of binoculars on her podcast, and

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if I was in the market for binoculars, I'd absolutely take her advice and

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not do any more research because she's a trusted and avid birder.

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But would her endorsements of patio furniture work on me?

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Less so.

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Now, in those instances where they don't work as well, where with a subject of

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the ad read is orthogonal to the topic at hand on the podcast, an announcer-read ad

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would likely be just as effective, maybe even more so since I wouldn't be listening

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with my head cocked to one side wondering why the ads don't match the content.

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But then again, I'm weird like that.

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And also I listen to plenty of fiction podcasts, right?

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I listen to some news shows.

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I listen to straight up educational programs where there isn't a strong host.

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I've developed an affinity for the content that's produced for sure,

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but I probably couldn't even name the host of some of those shows.

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So a host-read ad in those instances isn't all that important to me.

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It doesn't even work.

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In fact, an announcer-read would probably [work] just as good, if not

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even better, because it probably has all the right talking points, the

Evo Terra:

researched talking points, inside of it without someone having to try

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and make it up as they go along and pretend they've got some intimate

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connection that just doesn't exist.

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So again, if for your listeners your podcast truly is an intimate

Evo Terra:

experience, then roll on with those host-read ads cause they'll work great.

Evo Terra:

But [if] it is not, and I assure you not every listener has to

Evo Terra:

have an intimate experience when they listen to every podcast.

Evo Terra:

So if that's not the case, then recognize the case studies you're

Evo Terra:

learning about, and you're hearing about on other shows and other

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newsletters, they may not exactly line up to the type of podcast you produce.

Evo Terra:

It's okay for you to do your own thing for your ad reads and your sponsor messages.

Evo Terra:

So with that, I shall be back next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Evo Terra:

Cheers!

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

Evo Terra:

A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

Evo Terra:

podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

Evo Terra:

transcript, both created by Allie Press.

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.

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