As the on-demand-audio craze has continued, one question has dogged the industry: Can podcasts be monetized effectively?
According to the latest IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study, the answer is a definitive “yes.”
This Interactive Advertising Bureau report says that U.S. podcast advertising in 2017 increased 86% from the prior year — $314 million as compared to $169 million. Breaking down these numbers a bit more, the report says that podcast ad revenue “grew 94% between Q4 2016 and Q4 2017.”
“The growing trend toward ‘anywhere and everywhere’ media engagement has created tremendous opportunity for digital media, of which podcasting is a significant component,” PwC US Partner David Silverman said in the announcement.
The IAB also projects that the trend will continue to accelerate, reaching $659 million annual revenue in 2020.
These numbers are based on self-reported revenue from “top podcast companies,” and the company also took steps to make sure the conclusions are “inclusive of non-survey participating companies” through “a podcast advertising market sizing,” IAB says.
In terms of ads themselves, two-thirds of 2017 ads fall into the category of “host-read ads.” Also popular were ads integrated into programming, which accounted for 58% of podcast ad inventory last year.
Campaigns primarily consisted of direct response ads (on a cost per thousand basis) and brand awareness ads (29%).
Additionally, the study broke the podcasts into 14 genres, and the top four were responsibile for more than half of the revenue. Arts/entertainment podcasts made 17%, followed by technology (15%), news/politics/current events (13%) and business (11%).
In terms of advertisers, financial services companies spent the most on ads at 18%, while direct-to-consumer retailers comprise 16%, followed by arts and entertainment at 13%.
The study was conducted by IAB and PwC and was underwritten by IAB member companies Audioboom, Authentic, ESPN Radio, Gimlet Media, How Stuff Works, Market Enginuity, Midroll Media, National Public Media, Panoply, Podcast One, PMM, Turner Podcast Network, Westwood One, WNYC Studios and Wondery.