PODCAST INDUSTRY REPORT: Podcasting will be a $1 billion industry by 2021 — here's how Spotify, Apple, and others are innovating to make it happen and where brands fit in
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Podcasts have been around for nearly two decades, but the format has come into its own over the last five years. A proliferation of shows, involvement from celebrity talent, investment from large companies like Spotify, and the spread of technologies that boost awareness, like smart speakers, have all helped the medium blossom.
In the US, eMarketer estimates there will be 105.6 million monthly active podcast listeners by the end of 2020, more than double the 45.8 million monthly listeners in 2015.
This listenership spike has brands interested — by 2021 podcast ad spend is expected to more than double its 2018 total in the US. US advertisers will spend more than $1 billion on podcast advertising in 2021, up from $479 million in 2018, per PwC and IAB estimates.
That's because the podcast audience is not only large and growing, but attractive: Listeners tend to be young, affluent, and educated, and generally open to advertising in podcasting. This is especially valuable as the unreachable audience grows, and advertisers may have more difficulty accessing younger, affluent, and educated audiences who are more likely to use technology like ad blockers across other forms of digital media.
The podcast industry is in a particular moment of creative and innovative renaissance, from content creation to discovery. In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will provide an in depth look at the podcast industry, focusing specifically on key drivers of its recent boom and the audiences that are pushing it to new heights.
The ultimate goal of this report is to give readers a clear understanding of how the major players and components of podcasting function so that brands can more readily take advantage of the many opportunities this dynamic digital media format presents.
The companies mentioned in this report are: AdvertiseCast, Alphabet, Anchor, Apple, Barstool Sports, Bonobos, Disney, Gimlet Media, Google, Higher Ground, iHeartRadio, Luminary, Midroll, Netflix, The New York Times, NPR, Pandora, Parcast, PodGrid, PRX, The Ringer, Sirius XM, Spotify, Stitcher, This American Life, Unilever, The Washington Post, Wondery, YouTube
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Podcasts have been around for nearly two decades, but the format has only just entered the mainstream.
- Podcasts are growing outside of the US as well, and Latin America is a key region to watch given the rapid development of Spanish-language content.
- Tech companies are jockeying to become the No. 1 destination for podcast listening, and the biggest players are Apple, YouTube, and Spotify.
- At one time brands were hesitant to spend on podcast advertising, but the recent boom in listenership has changed those notions.
- The podcast audience likely appeals to brands because listeners are often highly engaged and quite receptive to ads.
- Brands have many options when it comes to advertising on podcasts, but the most critical thing is to ensure that a selected show aligns with their brand.
In full, the report:
- Explains the podcast audience, both in the US and abroad, with specific focus on a key growing region: Latin America.
- Breaks down the major platforms competing for audio dominance, with special emphasis on the key innovation areas driving listener uptake: Discovery and Original Content.
- Dives into the advertiser opportunity, layng out the best entry points for brands looking to capitalize on this thriving industry.
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