Amazon To Buy Wondery; IAB Offers New Podcast Measurement Guidelines

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A Wondery To Behold

Amazon is in talks to buy podcast production network Wondery, reports The Wall Street Journal, at a value of more than $300 million. According to WSJ sources, Wondery predicts its revenue will exceed $40 million in 2020, with 75% of that coming from advertising – and the rest from licensing its content to subscription services such as Audible and Stitcher. There’s been a run on podcast acquisitions in recent years. Spotify has acquired Megaphone, sports network The Ringer, Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast, as well as signed exclusive deals with Joe Rogan’s podcast and WarnerMedia’s DC Comics. Sirius XM and iHeartMedia have also been active. But a Wondery sale could mark the end of this acquisitive era. “Wondery is the last large, independent podcaster on the market – and could present the final opportunity for a major tech or media giant to buy its way into the exploding field,” the WSJ writes.

Podcast 2.1

 And speaking of podcasts, the IAB Tech Lab has released a new set of measurement guidelines for public review. Its Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.1 propose standard metrics for both podcast content and podcast ads. With the podcast industry's significant growth – US ad revenue is projected to reach $1 billion in 2020 – there is a need to reduce discrepancies and adopt common measures. The 2.1 guidelines offer significant updates over the current version, last updated in 2017. They include a new section with guidance on user agent structure, recommendations for IPv6 IP addresses, filtering guidance for Apple watchOS user agents, and more. The public comment period will last for a 30-day period which kicked off on Dec. 2 and lasts until Dec. 31. Read the release.

Gaining Influencers

This year, marketers are embracing influencers for their holiday campaigns even more than in years past, according to Digiday. “In the last two years it’s moved from being an optional part of marketing plans to an essential part,” said Kristy Sammis, founder of influencer marketing agency Clever. “Now that professional production studios aren’t reliable – due to safety measures – influencers are the go-to.” While clothing and beauty brands have traditionally worked with retailers, now requests are coming in from a wider variety of companies, including advertisers hawking outdoor gear, cookware and home fitness. And the big message this year? Pushing joy and resilience, as well as nostalgia for a time in the distant past when we weren’t all trapped inside wondering how we’ll make ends meet.

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