U.S. podcast ad revenue grew by 53% in 2018

  •   June 3, 2019
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U.S. advertisers spent an all-time high of $479 million on podcast ads in 2018, up 53% from $314 million the year prior, according to research by IAB and PwC. The report also predicts that domestic podcast marketplace revenues will double to over $1 billion by 2021.

Fifty-one percent of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast and 22% have listened in the past week. Seventy-eight percent of listeners say they don’t mind branded sponsorships. Combine that with audio-first technologies baked into smart speakers and cars and advertisers are realizing that podcasts are a marketing platform that is a constant companion to millions of potential customers.

The report also indicates that tracked direct response ads have declined from 73% of all podcast ads in 2016 to 51.6% last year. This decline coincides with the rise of branded content campaigns and brand awareness ads, suggesting that podcasts may be more efficient for campaigns that do not require tracking via a unique code or URL.

  • More than half of all ad revenue came from D2C retailers (22%), financial service providers (21%) and B2B (14%) ad buyers.
  • Baked-in ads still accounted for the majority (51.2%) of podcast ads delivered in 2018, although dynamically inserted ads did grow to 48.8% from 41.7% in 2017.
  • Host-read ads are still preferred over pre-produced and supplied ads, making up nearly two-thirds of ad types.
  • Cost-per-thousand remained the dominant pricing model in 2018, with cost-per-acquisition becoming no longer significant.