Due to rising interest rates and economic uncertainty, advertisers scaled back on ad spending in the first half of 2023. But as Inside Audio Marketing reports, audio fared better than other media channels. Magazines were down 18%, newspapers decreased 17%, and linear television was down 10%, while audio ad spending (including broadcast radio, streaming audio, and podcasts) was down just 5%.
Of all the audio segments, podcasting was the “big winner,” with ad billings increasing 57% year-over-year to make it the fastest-growing media type.
I spoke with Lee Syatt, SMI Podcast Operations, about the surge in podcast billings. Syatt said that the Infinite Dial report has shown for years that podcast listenership continues to grow. This year’s report revealed that 64% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, a 45% increase from five years ago. In 2018, 44% of the U.S. population had listened to a podcast. “Increased listenership means more people are engaging with podcasts,” said Syatt. He said that celebrity-driven shows and shows from big media partners (such as ESPN) drive listeners who may not have listened previously. “With podcasts being more mainstream, we are seeing a lot more legacy brands get into podcasting, like McDonalds, T-Mobile, State Farm, Discover, and Capital One.”
More advertisers are recognizing the power of podcast advertising to build brand awareness and they are including it in their growth marketing strategy. With this increase we are seeing more competition for exclusivity with top podcasts “The increase in podcast ad spend means that there is going to be more competition for companies looking to advertise on podcasts,” said Syatt, “but with the right agency behind them, brands will be able to invest their ad dollars wisely.”
Companies who have not yet advertised on podcasts may not be aware of the incredible amount of data and insight that can be achieved through podcast advertising. For example, at SMI, we use data points from directly attributable leads, data captured at checkout in the “How did you hear about us” (HDYHAU) survey, pixel data, and insights from Google Analytics (GA) or Looker.
“Having a multi-touch attribution model like SMI’s provides detailed performance insights to measure results and give advertisers access to critical customer behaviors.” Syatt said.
If you’re ready to advertise on the fastest-growing media channel, contact SMI today.