The Association for Downloadable Media (ADM), a group of episodic podcast outlets, has agreed to support standards for ad formats and audience measurement. The standards were created last summer and now have been adopted by some 25 participating organizations, ranging from independent podcasters to public radio giants NPR and PRI. Notably absent from the list of participants is Apple, a major distributor of podcasts and also a founding member of ADM.
Included ad units are pre-, mid- and post-roll insertions, product placements and host endorsements. The standards are not particularly rigid, but the hope is that they will help participating organizations attract ad dollars. Downloaded media is particularly hard to measure (not that people aren’t trying) because it’s not always known what a user does with a file after procuring it online. By contrast, streaming and progressive download require more constant — and thus measurable — contact with a server.