Podcast Analysis

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Podcast Analysis

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Compliance Program allows companies to establish their credibility with audiences and advertising partners by showing their commitment to transparency and reliability by adhering to a set of industry standards. Compliant companies receive the IAB Tech Lab Compliance Seal, which can be displayed on their website and marketing materials to emphasize the level of trust that compliance brings. Companies will also be featured on IAB Tech Lab's Technology Compliant Companies page. Four such companies are Acast, Blubrry, Libsyn and Simplecast.

Acast

  • Acast does not promote its IAB compliance on its website. In fact, the only evidence of the IAB on Acast's website is that Acast hosts The IAB UK Podcast, "IAB UK’s take on the most interesting and important things happening in digital advertising."
  • Aside from mention that it was awarded "Best Digital Media Platform 2016" by IAB Sweden, IAB is not brought up on Acast's LinkedIn page.
  • In September 2019, it was reported that Acast emailed each of its publishers to warn them that they may see a likely decrease in listener numbers due to Acast moving to IAB Version 2 guidelines for measurement.
  • On October 29, 2019, the Podcast Business Journal wrote that "Acast is the latest to receive the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab Podcast Measurement Compliance 'seal of approval.'" Acast's CEO cited "the need for the most transparent and accurate measurement standards to continue building trust in the marketplace, and drive even more revenue for publishers and podcasters."
  • According to Inside Radio, Acast "wanted to ensure the IAB standards were '“as progressive and rigorous as possible,'" noting that "[d]uring the past year several other podcast companies have also secured IAB certification tied to the V2.0 standards, including Art19, Blubrry, Libsyn, NPR, Podtrac, Voxnest and Whooshkaa."
  • With regard to adopting the Version 2 standard Acast's CEO said, "Acast is in a unique position in that we are platform-agnostic and we operate in more countries than any other podcast company... We see the real need for a consistent global measurement standard that can build confidence, not least for our international publishers and podcasters who have listeners around the world. I’m looking forward to seeing how these new processes will help push the industry forward, and open it up for even more advertiser money to flood into the space.

Blubrry

  • Blubrry promotes its IAB certification on the front page of its website: "Podcast Platform Updates, August 2019: In an effort to continue making it easier than ever for you to produce and grow your podcast, Blubrry is constantly tweaking, developing, and redeveloping our industry-leading podcasting platform: from Podcast Hosting, to IAB Certified."
  • "Earlier this year, [Blubrry] released Play and Partial Download Reporting as part of [their] IAB Certified Podcast Statistics platform for our Advanced Stats customers. It’s been great seeing more and more podcasters use this valuable service during our free trial period. Today, that service is still available, and it’s only $5 additional per month."
  • Also noted by Blubrry, "What sets us apart? 1st Company to be IAB Certified Compliant with Podcast Measurement Guidelines."
  • On its About page, it is highlighted that "RawVoice, Blubrry’s parent company, is a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB.net), which comprises more than 650 media and technology companies that sell, deliver and optimize digital advertising or marketing campaigns. To look out for the interests of content creators, the Blubrry team will take an active role in an IAB committee that will create a white paper on podcasting and any additional standards work."
  • If you search Blubrry's website for "IAB", the only other relevant result is an IAB podcast from Sweden, "IAB-podden."
  • In December 2018, Inside Radio reported that Blubrry and NPR were the first to adopt IAB's new standard. Other online publications reported the same.
  • In January 2019, Blubrry reported on its Twitter feed, "Just in case you hadn't heard yet, we're certified in the IAB Compliance Program for podcast stats. Only podcast service providing that capability, don't miss out."
  • When reported as one of the "[b]est Podcast hosting platforms in 2019-best podcast hosting," it was noted that Blubrry is the "'[f]irst IAB-certified companies that comply with the podcast measurement guidelines' so that you know that the listening statistics are correct."

Libsyn

  • In August 2019, it was reported that "Libsyn joins ranks of IAB 2.0-certified podcast companies."
  • At the same time, Inside Radio reported the same with the headline:"Libsyn Is Latest Podcaster To Complete IAB’s V2 Certification Process."
  • Libsyn's website boasts "IAB v2.0 certified stats and in-depth audience analytics with Advanced Plans."
  • Amongst features highlighted by Libsyn: "IAB v2.0 Certified Podcast Statistics — Advertising Industry Trusted Reporting: [IAB] standards include consistent filters and measurement practices that provide clarity in the marketplace with common measurement language. These standards assure advertisers that Libsyn reporting meets aggressive industry guidelines. IAB v2.0 compliant stats mean potential investors, show sponsors, and advertisers will see your show as a more valuable and trusted investment. Available with Advanced Plans only at this time."
  • On its support site, it notes that "Libsyn updated their stats processing algorithm as part of a move to follow the IAB standards for podcast stats processing. Additional details regarding this update can be found here and here."

Simplecast

  • On its website's main page, Simplecast notes that "[w]ith IAB Certification, your numbers are audited and approved by the IAB Tech Lab, and industry-standard right out of the box. We've made enterprise-scale analytics affordable for podcasters everywhere."
  • Simplecast's Help page covers "IAB 101: What does it mean to have IAB Certified Analytics?"
  • https://help.simplecast.com/en/articles/2676561-iab-101
  • In April 2019, Simplecast explained, "Understanding the All New Simplecast’s IAB Compliant Analytics: ...and how supporting an industry measurement standard is very good for your show."
  • Also in April 2019, Inside Radio reported that "Simplecast is currently moving through the IAB certification process and Smith says the unique listener metric is 'being inspected under a microscope by a third party auditor' as part of that review."
  • Podcast Business Journal in October 2019 reported: "Add Simplecast to the growing list of companies that are becoming IAB certified, which adds another layer of credibility to those who choose to do so. On Wednesday the folks at Simplecast let us know that their Audience Insights now have the AIB Tech Lab’s stamp of approval."
  • Simplecast was ranked #3 in "The Best Podcast Hosting Services (2019 Review with Comparison Chart)," noting that "Simplecast comes with IAB compliant, industry leading analytics tool called Audience."


Research Strategy

Aside from standard Internet searches, we focused on company websites, IAB websites and industry online periodicals. We also looked for any information regarding conferences and/or presentations.
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