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Podcast Revenues Soar

New report indicates that podcasting revenues are a fast growing areas of digital advertising. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) released a research study showing that podcasting is experience accelerated growth and is forecast to keep on rising.

Graph showing the steep rising trend for podcast advertisingThe advertising trend for podcasts is steadily rising at a steep curve. The growth from 2015 to 2016 was 73%. That growth rate increased to 117% from 2016 to 2017. The IAB predicts that this remarkable rate of growth will continue into 2020.

Advertising revenues are set to more than double the totals set in 2017 by 2020. 2017 podcasting ad revenues topped $314 million in the United States and are projected to reach $659 million by 2020.

Radio and Print Find Success in Podcasts

Podcasting is more than a trend, it’s a solid business model and a bright spot for many, particularly news organizations. The New York Times created a wildly popular podcast called The Daily, which earned it 4.5 million loyal listeners. This caught the eye of public radio and is now partnered with American Public Media, earning it additional revenue.

The Pew Research Center’s 2018 Audio and Podcasting Fact Sheet showed that National Public Radio’s podcasts experienced over 150% growth of listeners from 2016 to 2017.

This is important because it shows how the audience is growing for podcasts. It may be a sign that more and more people are turning to podcasts for interesting content. Podcasts are convenient to listen to, particularly to and from work.

The various NPR podcasts available for download experienced a 150% increase in listeners as more and more content consumers turn to podcasts.

Most Popular Podcast Ads

Host read ads represented the most popular kind of advertising. Host read ads accounted for more than two thirds of the most popular forms of advertising.  The IAB also described the percentages of the different kinds of campaigns:

By campaign type, Direct response ads continue to make up the majority of category revenue; however, they decreased from 73.0% of total revenues in 2016 to 64.2% of total revenues in 2017. From 2016 to 2017, Brand Awareness ad revenue representation increased from 25.4% to 29.2%, respectively; and, finally Branded Content ad revenue representation increased from 2016’s 1.5% to 6.5% in 2017.

Mobile Dominates Podcasting

According to a recent survey of podcasters and podcast listeners conducted by ( Survey PDF), over 90% of podcast listening is happening over mobile devices.

Of those devices, they report that 55.5% of the surveyed respondents listen to podcasts on Apple devices, while 32.1% listen over an Android device. That balance is likely to change as Android and Google begin to push heavily into podcasting with apps and a tighter integration with Google Assistant.

3 Insights into Podcast Advertising

The survey offered three remarkable insights into the effectiveness of podcast advertising.

  1. 80.5% reported listening to podcast advertising
  2. 83.8% of those surveyed agreed that podcast ads are effective
  3. 40% stated they have made a purchase based on a podcast advertisement

Those statistics are remarkable. Yet it should also be noted that the survey is based on interviews with 542 podcast listeners and podcasters, selected from podcasting communities. Nevertheless, the survey offers interesting insights.


Podcasts are gaining popularity as a way to consume content and the advertising dollars are following it. Both the IAB and the Pew Research Center confirm these trends. This is a bright spot for content creators as it represents an additional way to earn ad revenue.

Digital content businesses may wish to consider how podcasting fits into their business model. Paid search professionals may consider taking a look at podcasting as a way to reach consumers.

Read the IAB Full Year 2017 Podcast Ad Revenue Study (PDF)

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SEJ STAFF Roger Montti Owner - at

I have 25 years hands-on experience in SEO and have kept on  top of the evolution of search every step ...

Podcast Revenues Soar

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