Pod Complex: Podcast Advertising Hits $1 Billion – Q+M

Pod Complex: Podcast Advertising Hits $1 Billion

There has been a lot of talk of ad budgets getting slashed due to the pandemic. Nothing scares marketing execs like uncertainty, and an on-going surge of cases across the country has caused many companies to take their foot off the gas. One hot place to buy? Podcasts. 

Early on in the lockdown-days of the pandemic, many anticipating spiraling ad revenues for podcasts and radio. That fear came from a pretty obvious problem. Many podcast listeners tune in during commutes, which meant no drive and a possible change in habits. So far, that hasn’t been the case. 

The audience was already there. As of April 2020, little over 50% of Americans (155 million) had listened to at least one podcast, while 24% say they listen to podcasts weekly. That’s 68 million pairs of ears ready to tune in, and that number has grown annually every year. 

With listeners, of course, comes options. There are over 1,000,000 podcasts shows available, with approximately 30 million different episodes recorded. Those are big numbers, and it is worth looking at just how lively all those shows are. Between 500

,000 and 525,000 of those shows are considered active, which means they offer and publish episodes regularly. 


Two main points make podcast advertising so attractive. First, podcast listeners are, on average, a great demographic. The average listener makes over $75,000 a year, has a four-year college degree, and over 16 million listeners tune into at least one show per day. The second point is how specific those customers can be targeted. That huge volume of shows means a nearly endless variety of topics and genres for brands to zero-in on. Garden product manufacturers, for example, have dozens of podcasts to choose from that only talk about gardens; how much more specific can you get than that?


This year’s expected revenue for podcast advertisements is just under $1 billion, a 14.7% increase. Not too shabby in a year that has offered the most tumultuous and risky economy since 2008, but still roughly half of the industry’s 29% forecast for 2020 before coronavirus struck. 

Looking at the data, the brands that can benefit the most from podcast ads are those who focus on direct-to-consumer products with a strong online retail presence. Using show-specific coupon codes, focusing on shows that neatly align with your product and ideal customer, and even consider investing in your own show are all options more and more brands are bringing to the world of podcasts. 

Need help finding out if podcasts are a good place to spend? Let us do the heavy lifting with some listening. Let’s chat.

Podcast Advertising