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IAB Podcast Revenue Report, Global Podcasting Grown, & More

IAB Podcast Revenue Report, Global Podcasting Grown, & More

May 10, 2024

This Week in the Business of Podcasting

Next week we’re off to the land of Jaffa cakes and Monster Munch. As I plan out how much empty space to reserve in my suitcase for smuggling back McVitie’s digestives after Podcast Show London, let’s look at this week’s news.

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IAB Debuts 2023 Podcast Advertising Revenue Study

This Thursday from the Podcast Upfront: The latest IAB U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Study is now available. Key findings include a 5% revenue increase for the industry in 2023 and projections of 12% growth next year.

A quote from Sounds Profitable partner Tom Webster: “There is no question that the last year was a bit rocky for the entire advertising space, and podcasting was not immune to that. However, the audience for podcasting continues to grow, and the core effectiveness metrics for podcast ads remain strong, which bodes well for a strong 2024.”

The report predicts podcasting is on track to reach $2.6 billion in revenue by 2026. Comedy and Sports remain the top two performers by genre, making this the second year in a row Sports has held second place.

Niche content is still vital, as over 25% of revenue came from “other” categories. As IAB CEO David Cohen notes, podcasts deliver at scale and can pinpoint small audiences in a way that allows advertisers to reach niche audiences affordably.

Podcasting’s Global Growth

Last Tuesday from YouGov: consumer surveys conducted in 47 global markets to get a sense of podcast listening on the global scale. 40% of respondents listen to podcasts for more than an hour per week. 10% listen more than 10 hours a week. When narrowed down to region, some areas are growing faster than others. In the 22 European markets polled, only Romania (47%) had significantly more podcast listeners than the average of all consumers.

In Latin America, 48% of Mexican consumers are regular podcast listeners, and 11% listen to more than ten hours per week. The Asia-Pacific markets are experiencing high levels of listenership, with Indonesia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines reporting above-average proportions of podcast listeners.

Speaking of the Philippines, this week research firm The Fourth Wall published a new study commissioned by podcast networks The Pod Network, Anima Podcast, and PumpaPodcast. Beyond the Headphones: The Portrait of a Podcast Listener as Filipino surveyed 850 respondents from late October to late November of last year.

In the four years since the last version of this survey, podcasting has risen from 22.5% in preferred media platforms (sixth place overall) to 50.5%, third behind social media networks (80.8%) and Internet (81.9%). 95% of respondents consume something from a media platform on a daily basis, and 71% of that group are daily podcast listeners.

And according to PQ Media research, podcasting’s global growth is a net positive for the industry, and audio overall. Podcasting’s influence has helped audio maintain its place as second most-used media worldwide.

Wilford Brimley, Podcasting, and the 55+ Demographic

This Wednesday from Tom Webster: Podcasting is doing great with younger demographics, but there’s a flip side to that equation: audiences 55+ remain an underserved audience primed for growth.

“And this is a conversation I have with a lot of publishers – if you want to grow your audience, you can either try to be an existing podcast listener’s 6th favorite show, or you can try and create a new podcast listener. If you opt for the latter, the math is pretty obvious – they are going to be older.”

Webster highlights he is often asked to provide sales teams with the “25-52” numbers, which is usually where data requests top out. Yet a lot of producers, even top producers in the entire industry, are 55+.

To put it simply: people 55 and up buy mattresses and order food as well. And they tend to have more income with which to do so than the younger demographics marketing tends to cater towards. Rather than focus on keeping podcasting a ‘young’ medium, Webster proposes making podcasting the discovery medium for the curious, regardless of age.

Podcasting Companies Post Q1 Reports

It’s time for that time of the quarter: big names in podcasting are posting their numbers once again. First up: This Wednesday The Media Leader’s Ella Sagar covered Acast’s earnings call, reporting a 23% organic net sales growth in Q1. That growth is largely attributed to 48% growth in North America. Europe and other markets brought in 16% and 20% growth respectively. CEO Ross Adams anticipates Acast is on track to have a positive EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) for 2024 overall.

Cumulus Media’s earnings call kicked off with CEO Mary Berner explaining the company has refinanced its capital structure with “very favorable terms.” Overall the total company is down 2.7% year over year.

The podcasting side of Cumulus is “pacing up” according to Berman, with 47 Cumulus podcasts charting on Apple Podcasts. A first in the company’s history.

Rounding out the batch we have iHeartMedia posting this Thursday. Overall the company is down 1.5% for revenue, in line with guidance ranging from flat to -2%. iHeart’s consolidated adjusted EBITDA was $105 million for the quarter, within guidance and up $12 million year-over-year. And their podcasting revenue hit $91 million, an 18% increase year-over-year.

Genres with the highest percentage of Direct Response Advertising


Which genres featured the most direct response ads? In March, the leading categories were government, religion & spirituality, and literature. Explore the top genres for January and February of this year and discover how they have shifted over time.

Quick Hits

While they may not be top story material, the articles below from this week are definitely worth your time: