Forecast: Podcast Ad Spend To Hit $500m in 2020

This originally appeared in Inside Radio 1/10/17

Podcast ad spending will grow over the next four years at a considerably faster clip than originally expected, according to new projections to be released Thursday by Bridge Ratings. The firm’s updated Podcasting Audit Study says on-demand audio will bill $243 million in 2017, 17% higher than forecast in March 2016 when it called for $207 million.

In fact, the firm has raised its projections sequentially higher for each year through 2020. For 2018, Bridge expects podcast revenue to hit $316 million, 23% above its original estimate of $256 million. And by 2020 podcasting will cross the half-billion dollar mark ($534 million), 35% more than the original forecast’s projection of $395 million.

The revised numbers are based on a combination of the firm’s projected audience growth and interviews conducted in December with ad buyers at 25 national and regional agencies that Bridge shared its updated growth data with, Bridge president Dave Van Dyke told Inside Radio.

What’s driving podcasting’s swift revenue growth? “There is a lot of momentum in the sector,” Amplifi Media CEO Steven Goldstein says. “Anecdotally, many advertisers are looking for new platforms and fresh ideas. The ‘live reads’ and limited commercial loads are attractive.” Goldstein also sees more experiments with branded podcasts attracting new content ideas and new dollars.

But while radio has the “megaphone” to drive traffic to podcasts, giving it a distinct advantage in “a sea of podcasts,” to grow its share of podcast dollars requires a clearer understanding of the sector. “It’s like bagels and donuts – they mostly look the same but they’re different,” Goldstein says. “Fresh content will make the most impact, but a better job repurposing current shows would go a long way.”

Ismar Santa Cruz, VP and managing director of Radio Strategy at Univision, agrees that it comes down to the content. That involves “ensuring we are providing compelling and engaging content that will appeal to our listeners and, therefore, advertisers, regardless of platform,” he says. “Podcasting provides a concentrated avenue for great content, on the users’ terms.”

Original posting here

Steven Goldstein is CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, an advisor in strategy and content development for media companies and podcasters. Steve can be reached directly at (203) 221-1400 or Twitter @sjgoldstein

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