Association For Downloadable Media Releases Recommended Industry Standards

Jul 28th, 2008 | By | Category: General, Making Money with Podcasts, New Media Organizations, Podcasting

The industry group formed around the nascent podcast industry, The Association for Downloadable Media (ADM), has announced the release of two sets of recommended guidelines: ad unit standards and audience measurement guidelines. The recommendations released today grew from feedback and discussions of proposed standards, which were first unveiled in April at the ad:tech conference in San Francisco.

The Download Measurement Guidelines and Advertising Unit Standards are available now at

In The Podcast Consumer Revealed 2008 study, derived from the Arbitron/Edison Media Research Internet and Multimedia study, podcast consumers are attractive advertising targets. The downloadable media industry is seeing a notable surge in listeners who actively seek and select a program (rather than passively consuming whatever is available via traditional media), downloading it and potentially moving it to a portable device.  This enhanced level of engagement with the programs and hosts of the shows they select may translate to an increased credibility and level of trust for the show’s sponsors and advertisers.

The ratified guidelines have been accepted by the fourteen-member ADM Ad Council, a special  interactive advertising agency liaison group, which acts as a sounding board for the ADM committees.

The specific recommendations for advertising unit standards and guidelines for audience measurement follow after the break.

From today’s ADM announcement:

The Advertising Unit Standards include three kinds of formats –  Insertions, Content Participation and Collateral. The units outlined in the document are the most common set of existing formats in use today by sponsors and content producers. The ADM has plans to innovate new formats in the future, but this initial version of the Standards serves to organize the common set to make it most available to buyers industry wide.


Definition:  A separate ad file that is attached, inserted, or edited into an audio or video podcast.
Time: Up to :10, :15, 30 or :60 seconds
Location: Pre-roll; mid-roll; post-roll


Definition:  When an advertiser’s message is included as part of the audio or video podcast content.
1. Underwritten Sponsorship
2. Scripted Live Read
3. Talking Points
4. Host Endorsements
5. Product Placement / Product Discussion
6. Sponsored Interstitials
7. Special Episodes
8. Advertorials / Interviews
9. Infomercials


Definition:  All the other real estate that a podcaster has that may be included as part of an advertising or sponsorship package, or as separate items a lá carte.
1. Show notes on podcast website
2. ID3 tags in podcast episode file
3. Album Art Cards
4. Link and banner in enhanced audio podcasts
5. Overlays, underlays in video podcasts
6. Web banners, buttons, text links, hyperlinks (using IAB standards)
7. Email sponsorships
8. Press Releases
9. Product sales (CDs, DVDs, merchandise)
10. Signage/Outdoor (for retail)
11. Brochures, flyers

Audience Measurement: Because there are two ways a content creator can get access to audience data, the ADM guidelines encompass two types of effective measurement techniques, Native Server Measurement or Third Party Measurement. Both are approved by the ADM in providing accurate data when complying with the standards parameters:

Native Server Measurement (NSM)
The Native Server is the actual end point where the media is hosted. Native Server Measurement refers to the log files derived from the Native Server. It may include the amount of data that was transferred in each log entry, and therefore may provide information to derive more than simple download statistics.

Third Party Measurement (TPM)
A Third Party server is the intermediary between the Native Server and another Third Party Server. Third Party Measurement refers to the files measuring the initial download requests as received by a third party server to be delivered to the requester. Because the Third Party server is a constant, it may uniformly measure download statistics across multiple hosting services.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply