Podcast consumption, ad revenues on the rise

The podcasting market is booming and there’s no slowdown in sight. Just last year, podcast ad revenues in the US surpassed $1 billion for the first time. A new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) now suggests that podcast ad revenues will grow 47% in the US this year alone, reaching $2.1 billion in revenues. Moreover, by 2024 IAB forecasts that podcast ad revenue in the US will eclipse $4.2 billion. Podcast ads tend to be short, with the IAB stating that 55% are between 16 and 30 seconds, which makes them less intrusive to programming.

Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that almost a fifth of US consumers have listened to a podcast on their smartphone in the past week. In recent years, the line between streamers and podcasters has also blurred, as many podcasters now regularly stream themselves podcasting on YouTube or other video streaming platforms. Interpret data finds that in early 2021, US consumers listened or watched (on any device) an average of just one podcast in the past three months – by late 2021, that figure had increased to three podcasts.

In early May, Audacy, the second largest radio company in the US, reported that its own podcasting revenues grew 37% during the first quarter of 2022, citing “high margin local podcasts” as one of the “fastest-growing areas of the business with downloads up over 50%.”

An increase in podcast consumption is one factor driving the market, but improvements to automated ad tech have also helped advertisers to become more effective in reaching their target audiences. By 2020, there was also a shift from downloading to streaming podcasts, and Spotify’s Streaming Ad Insertion technology enabled the company to record an ad impression in real-time, yielding insight into confirmed ad impressions for brands for the first time.

Additionally, like the streaming video market, the podcast business is becoming increasingly creator focused. Beyond the various ad-based monetization options, podcast giants like Spotify and Apple have recently enabled creators to offer podcast subscriptions to their listeners. In fact, Apple recently announced that it will be launching a new initiative this fall called Delegated Delivery, which is designed to streamline the podcast publishing process for creators, ultimately making it easier for podcasters to grow their subscriber base.