Podcast Advertising Gains Are an ‘Amazing Feat’

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Sep 08

An analysis of advertising on the top 400 podcasts found that podcast ad volume grew by 2% in 2020’s second quarter, despite COVID-19. The study, conducted by Westwood One and Magellan AI, showed a slight dip in podcast ad volume in April (down to 2.7 average ads per podcast from 2.9 in March) and an almost immediate recovery. Podcast ad volume bounced back to March’s 2.9 ad average by June. 

Interestingly, despite the slight dip in average podcast ad volume in April, the study found that the number of unique advertisers and actual ad detections across the top 400 podcasts were higher in April than in January before the pandemic began. 

How could total ad occurrences rise when average ads per episode dipped? Doug Hyde, Senior Director of National & Local Insights at Westwood One, attributed this to a “significant increase” in episodes offered by major titles, another indicator of growth in the podcast medium. 

The good news gets even better for podcast advertisers. In addition to a 2% increase in podcast ad volume in Q2 compared to the first quarter, podcast ad volume grew 2% compared to the prior year.

“Most media platforms would love to be able to have a pandemic-impacted quarter exceed the prior year. That is the amazing feat podcast advertising was able to pull off in Q2 2020,” Hyde said.

Podcast advertising’s gains may be due in part to what Hyde calls an “all audio” approach. More brands are not only buying podcast ads but expanding into other forms of audio, such as broadcast radio, and leveraging national radio network buys. During the second quarter, 25 brands appeared on both Magellan’s list of top podcast advertisers and Media Monitors’ ranking of the top 200 national radio advertisers. Among those brands were Progressive, GEICO, and SMI’s client, Babbel, who displaced Home Depot earlier this year to become the nation’s top radio advertiser.

A well-rounded media mix has worked well for Babbel and SMI’s impressive list of clients. Find out how an all audio approach could elevate your brand. Contact SMI today.

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