The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s fourth annual Podcast Advertising Revenue Report, prepared in partnership with consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers, has shed some encouraging light on the field — even in an economy that continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, podcast advertising revenues are predicted to grow 14.7% over 2019, the report found, for a total of $812.1 million in revenues. (Prior to the pandemic, the report projected ad revs would grow by 29.6% to $917.7 in 2020). Last year, podcast ad revs grew a whopping 48% over 2018’s tally ($479.1 million) to a total of $708.1 million.
The report — derived by a survey sent to marketers in mid-March that was re-deployed in mid-April in order to account for the pandemic — concluded that while substantively impacted by COVID-19, podcasts have been more resilient than other digital media sectors. This is because of their agility in terms of changing ad messaging, as well as an increase in news podcast consumers, according to the IAB. That said, while news consumption is growing, these podcasts were hit hardest by the pandemic, as marketers moved their messaging away from news content and coronavirus-related search terms in order to avoid seeming tone-deaf.
“In the early days of COVID-19, the media formats that remained resilient were those that provided agility to marketers to change messaging,” Sue Hogan, the IAB’s SVP of research and analytics, said in a statement. “Sixty-six percent of podcast advertising is host-read — providing a very valuable, fast way for brands to stay in-market with the right message at the right time.”
The report also delved into the types of brands who are the most avid podcast advertisers (DTC brands in the ‘health and wellness’ and ‘home and appliance’ categories, followed by financial services companies), as well as the most-advertised-on podcast genres (‘news’, followed by ‘comedy’, and then ‘society and culture’).
Notably, the report found that the number of brands who are thinking about podcast ads as an upfront buy has doubled over last year. This means that 47% of companies surveyed said they are making podcasts part of their annual planning, as opposed to scattered purchases on a quarterly or less frequent basis.
You can check out the IAB’s fourth annual Podcast Advertising Revenue Report report in full right here