Podcast advertising has grown “pretty aggressively” during 2020. That was the message AdsWizz CEO Alexis van de Wyer delivered to advertisers and agency buyers this week during the IAB Podcast Upfront. He said Adswizz’s podcast advertising inventory grew 36% between Jan. 1 to July 31. And advertising impressions increased 44% between January and the end of June.
He said March and April turned out to be nothing more than an “outlier” for advertising as some clients pulled back. But as time went on, most brands adapted and changed their messages as they marketed themselves on podcasts. The industry also benefited by services like health care and education that could not go dark.
“As people started to be at home and lockdown, they still need to be socially connected,” said van de Wyer. “They need to feel that they’re informed and know what is going on, and for all of those reasons podcast consumption has continued to rise.”
Between January and March, AdsWizz avails were dominated by automotive and other offline advertisers. But since March there has been a drift toward more technology, communications and online shopping. “We saw a change with who is advertising, and during the last couple of months were driven by communications and shopping as more and more people get back into business and shopping more, advertisers are there are responding to that,” said van de Wyer.
AdsWizz has seen a 39% increase in podcast ads delivered in the company’s programmatic platform versus last year. “Advertisers and brands are really embracing podcasts. They want to reach more people, but also expand beyond the top shows, so they’re embracing programmatic in a big way because they want to be able advertise on hundreds of shows, not just a few ones that you can easily target with sponsorships,” said van de Wyer. He said that has meant moving away from shows and buying the medium in general.
Even though fewer people are commuting to the office, for ads delivered by AdsWizz, 71% still went to mobile devices and tablets. “This industry is still driven by mobile,” said van de Wyer. “What we see as well is the rise of smart speakers.” He said they have accounted for a small fraction of advertising in the past but have been growing. On the AdsWizz platform the amount of smart speaker ad buys grew 78% during the first half of 2020 compared to a year ago. “As people have been starting to spend much more time at home, embracing more technology to communicate and stay connected, smart speakers are the big winners,” he said.