U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Hits $1.4 Billion in 2021

Forecasted to Exceed $2B in 2022 and Over $4B by 2024

The explosive revenue growth of podcast advertising reached a new high in 2021, racing well past the $1B mark to $1.4B.

Podcast advertising grew 2X faster in 2021 (+72%) than the total internet ad market according to the sixth annual IAB U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue study, prepared for IAB by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”).

“Everything right now is aligned to drive growth. There’s more engaging and diverse podcast content than ever, and that is translating into larger, more attractive audiences,” said Chris Bruderle, Vice President, Research & Insights, IAB.  “But more than anything, podcasting has proven that it can deliver beyond direct-to-consumer advertising to support brand-building and drive business outcomes.”

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According to the report, there are three key factors helping to drive podcast ad revenue growth:

  • More listeners and more content
    • A continually expanding user base that is consuming a growing library of engaging and diverse content.
  • Increased use of automated ad tech
    • The share of ad revenue served via Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) has almost doubled in two years to 84% as now both host-read and announcer-read ads are largely being served with this functionality (84% and 85%, respectively).
  • Growing investment across more ad categories
    • The share of ad revenue generated within categories with lower spend volumes has more than tripled in just two years from 8% to 28%.

What’s ahead for podcasting

“The report indicates significant growth ahead, with advertisers buying podcast impressions at scale while tracking delivery, effectiveness, recall and results,” said Eric John, Vice President, IAB Media Center. “Buyers will expect advanced brand safety solutions, audience targeting, and measurement, and we look forward to working across the ecosystem to create standards that serve creators, listeners, publishers and brands.”

The annual IAB U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue study helps ad buyers gain insights into the latest opportunities available for podcast ad investment and sponsorships. For publishers, it helps to benchmark revenue performance and identify monetization opportunities at the ad category, ad-type, ad-delivery, and content levels, among other areas. The study aids ad tech and data companies gain visibility into opportunities to offer improved solutions in measurement, ad delivery, and beyond.

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