If there is any doubt that advertiser interest in podcasting is booming, the 400% increase in the number of registrations so far for next month’s IAB Podcast Upfront should put that to rest. The IAB says there will be ten first-time presenters at the three-day event, including the New York Times and ViacomCBS. Those well-established media brands are not only helping grow the roster of who will showcase their work in audio, but also demonstrate to the advertising community how podcasting has become a mainstream, must-buy medium.
“Our industry has focused a lot of attention on the explosion of streaming and Connected TV, but there’s another explosion happening at the same time, and that’s streaming audio,” said IAB President David Cohen. He pointed to Edison Research data that has shown, prior to the pandemic, there had already been healthy year-on-year growth for podcast listening. But the data shows streaming audio has now surpassed half of overall audio consumption. The IAB itself has said the industry will hit the $1 billion revenue mark next year. “Consumers are listening, and so are brands and agencies,” said Cohen.
During the now-virtual IAB Podcast Upfront, marketers will be listening to publishers whose shows cross the music, comedy, entertainment, news, sports, and lifestyle genres. In addition to three days of presentations from 21 podcast companies, the IAB’s program also includes insight sessions from AdsWizz and Podsights.
“The streaming format for IAB Podcast Upfront has garnered record-level industry participation,” said IAB VP Zoe Soon. “This is not only due to the flexibility of the event, but also the increased demand and popularity of podcasting.”
The event will take place Sept. 9-11. While virtual, the IAB says the 2020 Podcast Upfront will still have some star power. Stitcher is expected to put Oprah Winfrey and Rob Lowe in front of ad buyers; iHeartMedia will bring along Will Ferrell; Public Media Marketing will feature Dax Shepard and Brie Larsen, and Art19’s showcase will include Andy Cohen and Al Franken.
The IAB Podcast Upfront is an invitation-only event. Anyone interested in attending can request an invite HERE.