Study: Podcasting ad revenue sees uptick driven by messaging flexibility

Podcast advertising revenue is set to grow as much in the next two years as it did in the past decade. According to a new study done by IAB in collaboration with PwC podcast advertising revenues in the US climbed to US$842 million in 2020, from its US$708 million mark in 2019. 

According to the report, host-read continues to represent over half of revenue by ad type, which illustrates buyer’s desire to tap the direct, influential relationship creators have with their listeners. Marketers also valued the ability quickly switch messaging as needed on the podcast platform via dynamically-inserted ads, which enable ad placement at the point of listener download. The increased share of revenue for this ability went from 48% to 67%. Another point of interest for marketers was announcer-read or pre-produced ads, which put more control in buyer’s hands, increased share from 27% to 35%. 

The release also said that brand advertising, marked at 45% of 2020 revenue, is approaching parity with direct response, marked at 51% of 2020 revenue.

As such, bigger brands are discovering that podcast advertising can work across the sales funnel. Eric John, vice president, IAB media center, said podcast listeners have shown that even when working from home, podcasts are a preferred medium. As such, advertisers are benefiting from new technologies developed to serve these marketplaces, to make podcast advertising more dynamic and measurable than ever before. Moreover, podcast publishers were well-positioned for the quick pivot, with the leading audio platforms steadily investing in new content and buyer-friendly ad tech. 

Mid-roll spot placements continued to account for three-fourths of revenues, with half of podcast ads lasting longer than 30 seconds in length. News continued to be the top content genre for podcast advertisers. 

Direct-to-consumer brands maintained the top advertiser category market share, while pharmaceuticals more than doubled in share year on year. 

“The big takeaway from consumer behaviour pre, during, and post pandemic is that podcasting has tremendous growth ahead. Consumers love listening and will integrate it into their lives wherever it fits. Advertisers love the flexibility to adjust their messaging on the fly. And most importantly, brands are continuing to shift to podcasting simply because it works: when they run an ad, the cash register rings,” John said.

Prior to this, in 2019, Kantar predicted that that 2020 could herald a new age of audio advertising. Podcasts, the report said will turn out to be one of the fastest growing channels for ad spend.

"The intimate and highly personal nature of podcasts offers advertisers a highly receptive audience. And being one of the least cluttered channels, they are also one of the most engaging - our measurement of podcast advertising shows above average lifts on metrics such as purchase intent when compared to our norms data," the report said. As such, Kantar predicted that 2020 could be the make-or-break moment for audio channels. In addition, Kantar said radio will continue to modernise in a way that helps brands reach new audiences, to reinforce its position as a relevant and reliable advertising medium.

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