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Do you hear that? If you’re like many other consumers, it’s probably a podcast. Podcasts are one of the fastest growing channels in the digital landscape, with ad revenue passing the $1 Billion mark in 2021. Listenership continues to climb year over year, and 64% of the US population says they have listened to a podcast (up from 62% last year). This channel is continuing to adapt and change as more and more people with different demographics tune in.

Brands that can leverage podcasts as part of their advertising strategy will have a leg up on the competition, but it’s important to know where podcast trends are going. Here are some trends we think will make a big impact in 2024.

Listenership Will Grow, Especially in Younger Audiences

Podcasts are one of the few channels that have grown in audience size each year for the past 10+ years. Something interesting we’re seeing is that the younger generations are now tuning in more than ever. A recent study from talent agency UTA showed that nearly half of children in the US (48%) are listening to podcasts weekly. Many networks are adding children’s specific or family content for co-listening and we expect this to continue.

Another generation with increased listening is GenZ, with Spotify reporting a 48% increase in podcast streams from this audience in the first half of 2023. 60% of Gen Z’s find podcasts a more trustworthy source of news and information, but other categories with huge increases in listenership are Health/Wellness, TV/Film, Music, and Fiction. We anticipate seeing more podcasts tailored to the younger audiences during the next year.

AI in Podcasts

Everyone is talking about AI and the podcast industry is no different. Publishers are constantly trying to incorporate AI to streamline any processes possible. Podchaser has a tool that analyzes the language used in the podcast as a way to predict the age and gender of the likely audience (called predictive demographics) so advertisers can be more targeted in reaching their desired audience. Spotify is using AI to clone the voices of hosts into different languages. Resound has AI editing tools to enhance sound, trim when there are silences, and reduce background noises to ease the process of producing. AI will continue to be a huge focus of the industry as podcasts continue to thrive.

The Latest and Greatest Ad Formats

To keep up with the changing landscape, podcasts have had to adapt quickly. We’re seeing many podcasts now streaming their shows on YouTube, and allowing brands to utilize both platforms for advertising. 

Spotify continues to be one of the industry leaders and has developed streaming ad insertion for Spotify Owned & Operated podcasts that has unique reporting metrics, allowing advertisers to see how long someone listened to their ad or where a listener might have dropped off. Spotify also is allowing CTA Cards for their O&O shows, meaning there is a companion banner served alongside a podcast audio ad (which is not available across other platforms). New developments in reporting and ad expansion opportunities for brands make podcasts an exciting place to advertise.

Why It Matters for Brands and How to Get Started

Podcasts remain the fastest growing digital channel, with revenue projected to double by 2025. Podcast listeners are listening almost an hour a day and report listening to up to 9 podcasts per week. This is a channel with massive growth and huge potential for advertisers. Earlier this year, the IAB Upfronts reported that 60% of people who have listened have purchased something after hearing a podcast ad. 69% say they are more aware of a brand after hearing it on a podcast, and 81% pay attention to podcast ads more than other channels. This is a platform that has an influencer type feel, where listeners are huge fans of the hosts and trust and value what that host is telling them.

Brands who are looking to get involved in podcasts can do this in a few ways. One option is to find hosts / podcasts that align with your brand’s message. Partnering with authentic hosts is key for genuine ad reads that are more personal and resonate better with audiences. Picking specific shows means that you will run in that title with whatever the audience make up of that show is - you can’t specifically target demographics. Another way is to buy podcast ads programmatically, targeting your exact audience and running across a network of podcasts. This option would be producer read, but would have a lower CPM and allow more specific targeting.

If your brand is looking to advertise in this rapidly growing channel, reaching targeted audiences at scale, please contact Code3 to learn more about podcast advertising.



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