CANNES — If you believe the hype, podcasts right now are one of the fastest-growing media in the market.

Edison Research’s The Podcast Consumer, the most oft-cited proofpoint, now suggests weekly podcast listening has grown to 17% of Americans aged 12 or over, with a balanced gender split.

More and more publishers are falling over themselves to launch what is seen as booming consumer demand, more advertisers are taking a look and more tech vendors are launching to service all sides.

But podcasts’ historical problem has been its underlying strength – that delivery is typically through RSS feeds, making measurement – and, therefore, advertiser ROI – difficult. Apple went some way to easing that pain last year when it launched an analytics tool – but that still leaves a sizeable chunk of the market unmeasured.

So Nielsen, which has measured media consumption across many channels for years, is taking notice.

“We’re doing a lot of work to extend our measurement to be able to allow for that in the same consistent way that we measure our other types of content,” says Nielsen’s Jessica Hogue in this video interview with Beet.TV.

Nielsen’s Nielsen Audio offering measures how consumers are listening to what it calls “radio”, whether it be via traditional radio stations, streaming or podcast, including “demographic and qualitative profiles of podcast listener”, according to its website. The company is also aiming to measure actual consumption, not just downloads.

But it’s not just about podcasts. Streaming media have come so far in recent years – but one of the new trends is back to downloadable content. Podcasts are typically downloaded to consumers’ devices and Hulu, with which Nielsen announced a measurement partnership, is also now allowing viewers to download shows for offline viewing.

Both of which pose a challenge to measurement that has typically occurred at the time of streaming.

“Certainly, with video, our digital content program, and our content measurement has been able to measure downloadable content,” Hogue adds. “So, it just becomes part and parcel of our measurement program.

“Publishers are looking to find and create these new experiences that are rich, meaningful, immersive.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of Cannes Lions 2018.  For more videos from Cannes, please visit this page.

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