In this opinion piece, Pacific’s manager for corporate development and strategy Xavier Vincent and Acast’s managing director for ANZ Henrik Isaksson discuss the rise and rise of podcasting in Australia and how advertisers can cash in.
This year, Pacific bolstered its market-leading podcast slate by announcing a partnership with Acast (the world’s biggest podcast company) and the launch of eight new podcasts.
It’s no doubt that the rise of lifestyle-driven, audio-on-demand content is real and here to stay. But why is it so successful? And why are companies like Pacific investing so heavily in it?
Why do you think traditional magazine publishing houses are suited to podcasting?
Xavier: A core strength of publishers, and magazine publishers specifically, is our ability to build rich relationships and loyalty with our audiences. Our brands provide specialised, formative content in niche categories and we deliver it in ways that are highly engaging to an audience that loves the topic as much as we do. In this way, podcasting is a natural extension of this audience relationship; which explains why our editorial talent has been so effective at adopting the medium.
Henrik: Despite being a different medium, the way we discover and “buy” magazine and podcast content is actually very similar. We’ve always considered an environment like Apple Podcasts, for example, to be today’s digital version of a newsstand. You can browse content by subject – be it fitness, news, hobbies or celebrity – and choose the content that’s right for you. There’s an easy crossover from magazine content to podcasting in that people will always want to browse and consume lifestyle content across different subject verticals.
What makes Pacific’s content different from other players?
Xavier: When we first began investigating audio and podcasting as a content medium, the consensus view was that Australians were obsessed with the crime category but everything else would be a slow burn. We have had great success with our investigative pods The Rockstar and The Nanny, New Idea Investigates, and How I Survived; but what’s most exciting about the success of the Pacific Podcast Network is that many of the highest performers are some of our niche lifestyle offerings – from categories such as gardening, health, travel, beauty and homes.
Henrik: Podcasting is the perfect medium for “value-add” content, and it continues to perform incredibly well from an audience perspective. People will read a news article on the Royal Family and want to know more. Podcasts like New Idea’s Royals are perfect because they allow the opportunity to go deeper into stories and subjects they love.
Pacific have a unique opportunity in podcasting because they have such a large portfolio of recognisable mastheads which consumers have established relationships with. Extending these brands into the audio space makes absolute sense, and it’s great to see organisations like Pacific embracing the medium with so much focus.
What’s the opportunity for advertisers?
Xavier: Audio advertising perfectly complements digital buys with Pacific now able to offer reach into all digital platforms – content, social, email, digital display, rich media and now podcasts (audio). We offer a variety of package options from host reads to integrated segments and commissioned series.
In my opinion, though, the biggest value takeaway for our commercial partners is that a sponsorship in a Pacific podcast is an opportunity to participate in a direct, targeted conversation with a highly engaged, high-value consumer. A great example being our Get Lippy podcast hosted by the beauty editors of Beautycrew, marie claire and InStyle – the Get Lippy audience loves beauty just as much as our editors, you don’t invest your time in a beauty product podcast if it’s not a passion. I can’t think of a better environment to position my brand if I was looking for a commercial conversion.
Henrik: The type of content we’re seeing in Pacific’s podcasts creates a very engaged audience. They may have already read a snippet of news in Practical Parenting then actively subscribed to The Baby Whisperer podcast for more info. The audience has “opted-in” and is consuming content in a highly engaged state. That offers a really appealing audience opportunity for advertisers. And, like a magazine the best podcast advertising belongs in the show, is contextually relevant and really cuts through in an uncluttered environment.