There’s no question that 2019 was a big year for audio. Early last year, we predicted that audio ad sales, tech adoption and new ad tech companies would all contribute to big growth for audio.
Last year, Spotify acquired podcast producer Gimlet (and the ad tech necessary to support a full move into podcasts), podcast ad revenue grew past half a billion dollars, and Pandora started testing interactive audio ads (something that would fit nicely with podcasting once proven).
But where is all this growth coming from? Which industries (and companies) are primarily advertising with podcasts? How and what are they buying?
Top Industries Buying Podcast Ads
Since podcast advertising is a relatively new buzz, it’s not surprising that the format hasn’t been adopted across the board. The top ten industries buying podcast ads account for nearly 90 percent of total ad spend for podcasts.
As we can from the above chart, podcast advertising is mostly embraced by Media & Entertainment, Financial, and Tech companies. The three industries make up 56 percent of the total podcast advertising spend. Media & Entertainment companies alone account for over a quarter of podcast ad spend. Retail, Professional Service, and Apparel companies also make up sizeable chunks of the market (10, 7, and 4 percent, respectively).
Who is Advertising — and How are They Advertising?
Companies of all kinds are advertising in podcasts. Examples of top podcast advertisers include:
- ZipRecruiter (a B2B focused recruitment site)
- Capital One (focused primarily consumer banking)
- iHeartMedia (providing digital radio shows)
- Cash App (a mobile payment service
- Vivid Seats (an online ticket marketplace)
On average, a company that buys podcast ads will advertise on 20 episodes across 3 different podcasts. This likely gives them enough exposure to determine the ROI of the format. Measuring impact is straightforward, since half of podcast ads are direct response (i.e. they contain a specific code or URL the listener can respond to).
Podcasts also advertise themselves (i.e. other podcasts from the same production company) at a decent rate, with roughly a quarter of podcast ads being promos for other shows.