Catalina is linking with iHeartMedia to measure the sales impact of podcast advertising by packaged-goods brands—pairing the nation’s top podcast publisher with sales data covering 103 million households from 22,000 grocery and drug stores.
The deal gives a fast-growing medium solid sales impact data. It primarily covers offline sales, which still account for the majority of packaged-goods volume, but also picks up some online sales picked up at or delivered from stores that have loyalty programs Catalina tracks. But it doesn't pick up sales from Amazon, Walmart or other retailers that don't provide sales data to Catalina.
Through the partnership—which both sides said would respect privacy safeguards using anonymized data—the companies can compare purchases by people who hear podcast ads to purchases from those who don't. “We’re able to measure not only how effective it was, but how much [of the sales] were incremental” for the brand, says David Shiffman, executive VP of national research at iHeartMedia.
Podtrac ranked iHeartMedia as the top U.S. podcast publisher last month, with a unique audience of 26.9 million, almost 251 million monthly streams and 557 active shows. EMarketer predicts podcast ad revenue will grow 41% this year to $1.3 billion, topping $1 billion for the first time.