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U.S. Podcast Ad Revenues Near $1 Billion, According to IAB

IAB’s Latest Podcast Advertising Revenue Report Finds Brands Now Embrace Podcasts as Part of Annual Planning

NEW YORK, NY – July 13, 2020 – U.S. podcast advertising revenues near $1 billion in 2020, according to the fourth annual IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Report prepared by PwC. The report projects that ad revenues will increase nearly 15% (14.7%) in 2020 despite COVID-19. Prior to the downturn caused by the pandemic, podcast ad revenue was estimated to grow by as much as 29.6% in 2020.

Podcasts are gaining traction as part of brand annual planning–rather than adding them on as “scatter” purchasing strategy, when brands and agencies buy inventory closer to the air date. The report, released today, found that those making podcasts part of their annual buy has nearly doubled (47%).

“Podcasts have solidified their place in the marketing mix, with more marketers planning ahead to secure both inventory and pricing earlier in the season,” said Zoe Soon, VP, Consumer Experience Center of Excellence, IAB. “Brands increasingly see the value of “owning” a podcast series — podcast hosts are becoming trusted influencers with loyal communities. That translates to more consumer engagement and, ultimately, stronger ROI.”

Podcast Revenues continue to grow despite COVID-19.

“In the early days of COVID-19, the media formats that remained resilient were those that provided agility to marketers to change messaging. 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,” said Sue Hogan, Senior Vice President, Research and Analytics, IAB.

Additional highlights:

  • DTC brands (22%) and financial services (16%) make up top podcast advertisers
    • Health & Wellness and Home & Appliance are the largest DTC sub-categories
  • News is the leading podcast content genre for US podcast advertisers, capturing 22% of revenue, followed by comedy (17%), and society and culture (13%).
  • In 2019, podcast advertising revenues increased by 48% reaching $708.1 million

“News ad revenues were hard hit in other media. In the early days of Covid-19, we saw advertisers blacklist and block news sites and search terms while they pivoted messaging to avoid seeming tone-deaf. News podcasts have been a favorite of consumers and set the medium up nicely for advertiser placement,” said Hogan.

For the report, IAB FY 2019 Podcast Ad Revenue Report, click here.

IAB will be hosting its virtual 2020 Podcast Upfront on Sept. 9 -11 designed for advertisers and media buyers to preview the latest in innovative podcast programming. For more details click here.

As in prior years, the annual survey was sent to companies in mid-March to understand 2019 podcast advertising revenues and forecasted revenue growth from 2020-2022. Additionally, this same group was re-surveyed in mid-April to determine podcast advertising revenue impact and projections related to COVID-19 for 2020.

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About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contacts
Kate Tumino / Brittany Tibaldi
212-896-1252 / 347-487-6794
[email protected] / [email protected]

PwC Media Contact
David Silverman
Partner, Assurance Services
[email protected]