3 Percent of Companies Buy Half of All Podcast Ads

April 16, 2019

Top ten lists are not the story of podcast advertising, churn is.

Of the 2,400+ companies and 90,000+ ads we have indexed, just 80 brands have bought the majority of placements. The average brand buys less than 20 placements. For every ZipRecruiter, hundreds of brands try podcast advertising and churn. In an ideal market, there should be more brands, more competition for space, which in turn, pushes CPM prices higher.

3 Percent

This data comes from Podsights Research, and there are some disclaimers here. Research pulls the top 200 podcasts according to Apple and machines and human reviewers identify ads in those podcasts. We use this data to understand who’s buying podcast ads, but also to provide airchecks in Analytics.

55% of the podcasts that make the top 200 list are not monetized. We found 1,277 monetized podcasts and pulled 97k ads. I’m telling you this, so you know our sample size is strong.

As dynamic insertion and targeting continue to rise in the ecosystem, our crawler is not targeted, so we see mostly live reads and first run spots. While we don’t catch everything, if a brand is buying at any meaningful scale, we will see them.

Churn

To understand churn more, let’s look at the ideal path for a brand. The following is Poshmark and it’s beautiful. You can see them trying out Podcasts, seeing it work and then doubling down with considerably higher investment.

We hope to see them come back with even greater scale. Robinhood did the same. These guys loved podcasting so much they bought their own.

But Poshmark and Robinhood are outliers, what’s more, likely to happen is the following:

I know that you don’t believe me yet, so I’m going to keep going.

Even once stable parts of the ecosystem like Blue Apron, Quicken Loans are slowing.

We could go on, but I hope you are getting the point.

The question becomes, why? There are likely hundreds of factors. The dynamic guys like Megaphone and AdsWizz will tell you podcasting needs better targeting. Other’s will tell you that there is no place for brand advertising in podcasting. While you probably have your own conclusions, we would like to add one to the pile: attribution.

It’s easy to invest in a medium that you know, without a doubt, is working. Display, social, search, and even TV all have attribution. I know how many people showed up to my site after hearing an ad and more importantly, I have transparency. I can get into a dashboard, in realtime, and see how my investment is performing.

Podsights is doing the same for podcasting. If you are in publisher sales, we’d love to talk.

pssttt. we are hiring.