Podcast Listening Surges; TrustX Shifts Fees To Sellers

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Enter Audio

The growth of podcast audiences justifies the hype. More than half of Americans over the age of 12 report having listened to the audio format this year, up from 44% last year, according to Edison Research’s 2019 Infinite Dial Study, which has been tracking consumer media habits for 21 years. The audience for podcasts is both growing and avid, with the 22 million people who listen to podcasts weekly averaging seven podcasts per week. Podcast listening is growing digital audio listening overall, with 60% reporting listening to online audio weekly. And audio listening in general is being fueled by the rise of smart speakers, which 65 million people, or 23% of Americans, now own. As these new media formats rise in popularity, social media usage is shrinking. Edison estimates that 15 million fewer Americans are using Facebook than last year, and Twitter usage has stalled at 5% of the population. Read the study.

Fee To Roam

TrustX is shifting its 12.5% technology fee from advertisers to publishers. The move could disadvantage TrustX with publishers, who may prefer a bid from a different SSP that takes a smaller cut. “This entire initiative is a bit of a gamble for TrustX publisher-members,” David Kohl, TrustX president and CEO, tells Ad Age. “However, our publishers agreed to it because of the very vocal call from their clients for this additional explicit layer of transparency, and a promise – from agencies, in particular – that they would prioritize supply-paths that maximize working media value.” TrustX may be a non-profit trade group created to represent its 35 publisher members in the ad tech space, but like every other vendor, it’s still trying to figure out how to balance the concerns of marketers and publishers at the exchange. More.

Malware And Tear

Online ad fraud and cybersecurity aren’t going away. They’re getting more complicated. The media cybersecurity firm Devcon found several ad tech fraud operations using polyglots, malware that disguises itself in a web image, which can be disguised as an ad. Unlike going directly for ad impression revenue at scale with a botnet, polyglots sucker sensitive information from users, such as by coaxing a click on a fake cruise ad and then prompting people for an email address or credit card data. Polyglots are common in cybersecurity, but haven’t been used much to date for ad fraud. “Researchers say polyglots could be used to harness processing power from devices for use in cryptocurrency mining and to transfer money from one bank account to another using a supply-side server and a demand-side server,” Adweek reports. More.

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