Podcasting is increasing in popularity. According to Nielsen, 50% of homes in the US are fans of podcasts, and 51% of the US population has listened to a podcast. As a result, podcasting advertising revenues are on the rise, with 2019 podcast ad revenue expected to reach $678.7 million (an increase of 42% from last year).
If your organization has started podcasting, or perhaps your considering podcasting, here are some points to consider about podcast advertising:
- Baked-in ads vs. dynamically-inserted ads. Currently, just over half of podcast ads are “baked-in” ads, which means the ad content is part of the podcast content and remains in the podcast for its lifetime. The most popular type of baked-in ads are host-read ads, where the podcast host reads the ad content (e.g., every radio talk show host on the planet reading ads for Shari’s Berries during their shows at holiday time). On the other hand, dynamically-inserted pre-recorded ads can be changed out via ad server during the podcast’s lifetime. These ads have almost caught up with baked-in ads at 48.8% share of total podcast advertising.
- Brand-related ads are increasing. In 2018, just over half of podcast ad revenue came from direct-response ads. However, brand-related podcast ads are gaining ground and could surpass direct-response ads in the coming year.
- Ad buying mostly occurs on a quarterly basis. Marketers are moving away from annual ad purchases and toward quarterly or transactional basis ad buys.
- Revenue percentage varies by program genre. Captured ad revenue is greatest in the news/politics podcast genre. This genre, combined with comedy, business, education and arts & entertainment genres, captured two-thirds of ad revenue in 2018.
- D2C retail is the biggest podcast advertiser. This category accounted for 22% of podcast ad spend in 2018.
One last point is that ad lengths are getting longer. In 2018, 30% of podcast ads were 60 seconds long, with 27% 90 seconds long. A study by Westwood One found that listeners preferred no more than four ads in a 60-minute podcast.