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US Podcast Ad Revenues Hit Historic $479 Million in 2018, an Increase of 53% over Prior Year, According to IAB & PwC Research

Podcast Ad Market Forecasted to Surpass $1 Billion By 2021

In 2018, marketers spent $479 million to advertise on podcasts in the U.S., an uptick of 53 percent from $314 million in 2017, according to the latest IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study. The report, conducted by IAB and PwC US, forecasts that U.S. podcast marketplace revenues will double by 2021, surging to over $1 billion. Self-reported revenues by leading podcast companies show a similar trajectory, reaching $345 million, a rise of 34 percent over $257 million in 2017.

“Today’s technology has created an audio-first environment where audio is the preferred interaction—and consumers have put podcasts front-and-center”

Direct-to-consumer Retailers and Financial Services spent more on podcast advertising than other industry categories. Overall, five business categories represented nearly three-quarters of all advertising revenue captured:

  • Direct-to-Consumer Retailers (22%)
  • Financial Services (21%)
  • Business-to-Business (14%)
  • Arts and Entertainment (10%)
  • Telecommunications (7%)

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Host-read ads continued to be the preferred ad type, constituting nearly two-thirds of all podcast advertising. Direct response campaigns were still the most popular ad type, but are decreasing in popularity, as brand awareness and branded content ad types rose in use. Cost-per-thousand was by far the most dominant pricing method.

“Today’s technology has created an audio-first environment where audio is the preferred interaction—and consumers have put podcasts front-and-center,” said Anna Bager, Executive Vice President, Industry Initiatives, IAB. “Podcast storytelling is deeply engaging and provides marketers with a brand safe environment that enhances the appeal to advertisers. IAB has been a strong supporter of the podcast marketplace, and we look forward to spotlighting the medium’s latest at this fall’s IAB Podcast Upfront.”

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“The steady climb in revenues for the podcast ad market underscores the value of the platform’s flexibility and reach,” said David Silverman, a Partner at PwC US. “Consumers are listening to podcasts wherever and whenever—from their morning workout to their evening commute—making it appealing to brands that want to reach today’s audiences.”

ABC Radio, Adswizz, AudioBoom, Authentic, ESPN, Gimlet, iHeartMedia, Market Enginuity, National Public Media, Megaphone LLC, Podcast One, Inc., PMM, Inc., Rawvoice, Stitcher, WarnerMedia, Westwood One, and Wondery sponsored the IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study.

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