Keeping up With the Growing Podcast Industry

November 29, 2018 3:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts


The podcast industry continued to grow in 2018, Ad revenue from podcasts in the U.S. grew an estimated 86% last year to $313.9 million1. Sponsorship in the podcast industry contains fantastic opportunities for companies to connect with consumers. Among Canadian podcast listeners, 66% podcasts they listen to centre on either Sports or Entertainment/Culture2. Sponsors who invest large amounts of their budgets for rights fees to a professional sport or entertainment property, may be missing out on an additional opportunity to engage with their target consumers in a very effective way.


The typical podcast ad is 90 seconds, much longer than the typical TV or radio advertisement of 15 seconds. According to Forbes (2018), there are many reasons why consumers are more likely to pay attention to podcast ads rather than ignore them, as many do when listening to a radio broadcast or watching television3.


– [Ads] are read by podcasters, whom listeners have chosen to hear for the full duration of the podcast, and like and trust
– Much longer than other ads, with more content and information
– Harder to skip
– Less predictable than other ad forms, due to the presenter’s customized spin


Listeners liking and trusting the podcaster is key. There is a sentiment of loyalty and support that is often engendered between listeners and podcast hosts. This loyalty translates to listeners purchasing products from podcast ads; among people who have listened to a podcast for more than four years, 72% have purchased a product from a podcast ad.


Podcast advertisements are also more likely to translate to podcast consumers due to listeners lack of exposure to other forms of advertising. 86% of podcast listeners were subscribed to a digital streaming platform such as Netflix, where they are not exposed to any commercials. Not only are companies who sponsor podcasts engaging with a more attentive audience, often they may be among the few companies advertising to these consumers.


Podcasts also boast an attractive audience for many brands based on their demographic breakdown and engagement levels. According to Midroll Media (2018)5:

  • 66% of podcast listeners have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 44% have a household income of $75,000 or more
  • 66% of listeners are aged 18 – 34


If you’re a brand who has decided that the NBA is a property worth investing in, it may also be in your best interest to sponsor some of the podcasts that millions of NBA fans listen to every week. Doing so will not only create more touch points, but also communicate with your target audience in a much more effective way.



[1] Wall Street Journal: Spotify, Pandora Turn to Podcasts for Listeners, Profits

[2] Audience Insights Inc & Ulster Media: The Canadian Podcast Listener

[3] Forbes: What’s Really Driving The Limitless Growth Of Podcasts

[4] ] Edison Research: The Podcast Consumer in 2018

[5] Midroll Media: Podcast Listener Demographics Report 2018 

Photo by Alphacolor 13 on Unsplash

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This post was written by Michael Graham, Assistant Analyst, Consulting

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