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Amazon Rides Year-End Retail Wave To Overtake BetterHelp As Top Podcast Ad Spender.


Something happened in podcast advertising that has not happened in years as Amazon unseated the online mental health website BetterHelp as the biggest spender during December. Magellan AI says Amazon increased its podcast spending by five percent month-to-month to nearly $8.2 million. At the same time BetterHelp cut its spending 15% between November and December, to just under $8 million, enough of a drop to see it slide behind Amazon. BetterHelp had been the top spender in podcasting each month since at least 2020.


An eight percent rise in spending in December, according to Magellan AI estimates, also lifted Apple up to third place, ahead of HelloFresh, which fell to fourth as its spending was up 19% from November. Toyota rose to No. 5, investing $3.7 million on podcast ads last month, an eight percent increase from a month earlier.


Magellan AI’s report for December shows a number of blue-chip brands among the industry’s top spenders, including State Farm, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Discover, along with industry stalwarts like SimpliSafe and Shopify – which looked to capitalize on the holiday retail season. Overall, the top 15 spent a combined $52,227,300 on podcasting in December. That was a five percent decline from November’s estimates from Magellan AI.


Among the big spenders, Magellan says Sports was the most-used genre by nine brands. Three other brands spent the most in the Society & Culture category, while three others used Comedy the most.


Magellan’s monthly ranking of brands that deliver the biggest increases in spending in the medium – its list of movers and shakers – had a photo finish in December.


While mobile companies AT&T and T-Mobile were among the top spending brands last month, T-Mobile’s sister Sprint topped the movers ranking as it had a 490% increase in its podcast investment in December compared to November. That beat out retailer H&M, which had a 469% pop in podcast ad spending month-to-month. Both spent just over a half million dollars on the medium during December.


One of the biggest rises was from travel website operator Booking Holdings, operator of Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Rentalcars.com, Kayak and OpenTable. It spent $1,300 in November according to Magellan AI estimates, but that popped to $215,500 last month.


Magellan AI analyzes podcast advertising data from the top 3,000 podcasts in the U.S., as ranked by Apple Podcasts. Magellan AI’s proprietary model is used to estimate advertising spend. It includes factors such as the number of ads and variation in ad load detected for a given episode, number of downloads for each episode, and estimated CPMs as reported in select media kits and estimated based on popularity.

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