Subscribe by email, free
The business of podcasting

Podcast CPMs Outpace Digital + 4 more stories for Apr 1, 2022


Today on The Download from Sounds Profitable; podcast CPMs blow digital out of the water, a leaked document reveals YouTube plans for podcasters, and iHeartMedia breaks into kids podcasting.


In a development some industry veterans might not have seen coming when they got started in the industry: The Wall Street Journal has an article about podcast advertising. And what’s better: podcast CPMs are doing well.

Last Friday WSJ’s Megan Graham published “Streaming Audio Climbs the Charts With Marketers, but Some Want More Certainty.” Graham’s 900-word report combines interviews with advertisers with data from sources like the Infinite Dial to give a birds-eye view of the industry.

“In early 2021, some 68 percent of Americans aged 12 and older said they listened to online audio in the previous month, up from 47% who said the same in 2014, according to surveys conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital.”

Graham goes on to cite a Standard Media Index study showing podcast CPMs rose to $26 in Q3 2021, up four dollars from 2019.

The piece covers some of the inherent issues with confirming the reach and success of a given podcast ad, but primarily presents a bright future to the industry through quotes from ad buyers big and small. While it’s not full of brand-new information that’d shock someone with an eMarketer bookmark, it does reflect a healthy and growing industry. And did we mention the Wall Street Journal is talking about podcasting?


Last week we covered the developing story of TV ratings giant Nielsen, their pack of evolution, and a rejected buyout offer of six billion dollars. According to InsideRadio this Tuesday, Nielsen has sold for sixteen billion to a collective of private equity firms.

“The Nielsen board voted unanimously to support the acquisition proposal, which represents a 10% premium over the consortium's earlier proposal and a 60% premium over Nielsen's stock price before the potential sale surfaced in early-March.”

Barring any unforeseen interruptions, the deal is expected to close in the latter half of 2022. Now we wait to see if, as said last week on The Download, yet another third party incumbent for measurement and research becomes a proprietary service under new ownership.


YouTube’s planning big things for podcast integration, monetization, and analytics, according to an exclusive scoop on Wednesday from Podnews.

“Despite no announcement from YouTube’s director of podcasting, Kai Chuk, at Podcast Movement Evolutions last week, Podnews has been sent an 84-page presentation produced by YouTube, intended for podcast publishers. In it, three slides marked ‘Looking Ahead’ allow us a view into what YouTube is planning.”

The most notable features of the leaked deck are a promise of RSS feed ingestion, monetization both through Google and approved larger partners, and they’re open to accepting podcast measurement solutions. The final comes with a promise to integrate YouTube data into “industry-standard podcast measurement platforms.”

This is paired with the logos for Podtrac, Charitable, and Nielsen. Podnews offers the insight with

“Chartable was bought by Spotify in February, so perhaps this slide shows companies that YouTube have worked with, rather than companies it might work with in future.”


Shreya: Spotify is testing out one of its new toys in a new test integration of discovery platform Podz. As reported by Tech Crunch’s Sarah Perez on Monday, a Twitter thread from early adopter Chris Messina showcases the new feature. The Podz integration as of this writing is visually similar to algorithm-driven vertical feed apps like TikTok, providing Spotify users with a seemingly infinite virtual feed of sixty second audio clips from podcast episodes matched to show art, animated transcript, and episode information.

“What made the company’s technology interesting is that it didn’t rely on podcast creators to produce their own clips for its feed. Instead, it used a machine learning model that had been trained on some 100,000 hours of audio to help automatically select clips to showcase.”

As Perez points out in the article, Podz isn’t the first company to try and fix podcast discovery, but they were the first to be bought for almost fifty million dollars. Now their tech is being deployed for field testing on iOS devices. Time will tell how Spotify’s new automated TikTok for podcasts works out.


Followers of The Download might remember our March 18th episode in which we covered a Hollywood Insider article about the booming business of making podcasts for children. That story continues to blossom as a big name in the industry has tossed their hat into the ring. As reported by Brad Hill on Tuesday for RainNews, iHeartMedia has teamed up with Collab Incorporated to create podcast network Curativity.

The network has partnered with Jim Jacobs, known as Mr. Jim to his young audience, creator of Kids Animal Stories and Kids Short Stories. According to iHeartMedia’s press release, both of Jacobs’ existing series net over a million monthly downloads. In addition to onboarding existing content, Curativity has a new Jacobs-hosted Mr. Jim property called Spyology Squad scheduled to launch April 4th.

This new announcement signals not only is children’s content catching the eye of big players in the podcasting industry, it’s interesting enough to provoke a rare iHeartMedia collaboration with a creative agency.


Finally, it’s time for our semi-regular roundup of articles that didn’t make it into today’s episode, but are still worth working into your weekend reading.


The Download is a production of Sounds Profitable. Today's episode was hosted by Shreya Sharma and Manuela Bedoya, and the script was written by Gavin Gaddis.

Bryan Barletta and Evo Terra are the executive producers of The Download from Sounds Profitable.

Special thanks to Ian Powell for his audio prowess, and to our media host, Omny Studio.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Get the free Sounds Profitable newsletter for more like this.
Our privacy policy keeps your data safe.
(Fill this in now; you won’t lose your place!)

Get the latest about the business of podcasting with our free weekly newsletter