<pre><pre>Podcasters need listening data, so Nielsen is going to call people's homes to ask

Nielsen, a company best known for the popularity of TV & TV tracking, starts with the collection of podcast data collection. Company will start collect information about the habits of podcast listeners, such as their genre preferences and how long they listen to shows, and it will then sell access to that data to podcasters and podcast ad networks. The information can help these companies sell advertisements, especially as they often have little insight into the wider consumer habits of their listeners.

Nielsen's first customers are some of the biggest names in the industry, including iHeartPodcast Network, Cadence13, Midroll, Westwood One and Cabana. Since these companies are selling ads for podcasts, they are likely to use the database to build a more attractive pitch for advertisers.

To build the database, Nielsen will interview random Americans about podcasts and give her customers the chance to record their shows among those who say they consume. The ultimate goal is for podcasters to know more about their listeners and more about who enjoys podcasts more.

The service is part of Nielsen Scarborough, a product that has been around for decades and where Nielsen asks consumers detailed information about their media consumption and buying behavior. Nielsen surveys more than 200,000 people every year through telephone interviews, physical surveys and online surveys on a number of things, such as what type of car they own, their demographics, their favorite beer brands, what concerts they go to and how often they visit it shopping mall, for example. (You can view a complete list here; it is extensive.)


Nielsen & # 39; s podcast research will be conducted twice a year with 30,000 people. If customers pay to participate, they can include their shows in the next survey batch.

Even if a company does not include its show in the survey, the data can still be useful. A network that focuses primarily on real crime shows, for example, can look at which brands are bought by people who said they liked shows within the genre. Armed with this information, they can go to advertisers and point out that their fans are probably aware of their brand and interested in what they are selling. It is not necessarily direct information, but it is more precise than which podcasters now have access.

Podcasting is a growing company, but a lack of listening data has made it more challenging to sell advertisements. Until recently, podcasters had little information about who actually listens to their shows. Most hosting platforms only offer IP addresses, and therefore the locations where their listeners are located and where they have heard the show (for example on an iPhone via Apple Podcasts). Spotify has somewhat changed that reality by offering demographic data via the internal dashboard for analysis. But compared to what Facebook and Google know about people, the podcast industry lacks miserable data.

Spotify is generally more powerful than other podcast networks when it comes to selling ads just because it can assign episode reminders to specific users. Those users identify their gender, age, location, language preference and listen to all their music on the platform, so Spotify knows a little more about it than other networks whose listeners are spread across different platforms. Spotify is already taking advantage of this advantage by getting advertisers to target ads based on the podcast genre that listeners use. In particular, these automated advertisements are placed between songs, not within podcast episodes.

As the industry grows and more podcasts compete for advertiser dollars, podcast networks will have to make the case that an advertiser can best be served by his specific show. The data from Nielsen can help build a convincing argument.