Americans Are Traveling Again. That’s Bringing More Travel Ads To Podcasts.


The reawakening travel industry is having a positive impact on podcasting’s bottom line. Magellan AI reports the travel industry increased its spending in May by 285% compared to a year ago. And as more coronavirus vaccines get into people’s arms, the travel industry has added to its spending. Magellan says May’s nearly $900,000 in spending is roughly double what travel companies spent on podcasts during April and was 244% above 2021 monthly averages so far.


“Last year we saw a big pullback in spend in some of the travel industry companies. Now we’re seeing them double back down in podcasts given that more folks are looking to travel,” said Magellan cofounder Cameron Hendrix. On a webinar detailing the monthly results, he said the biggest increases came from travel brands such as The Expedia Group, Hotwire, and Airbnb.


The warm weather months also give a boost to other product categories. Memorial Day is the launch of the summer sales season. Magellan says the retail category’s podcast ad spending increased 74% last month compared to April. And consumer electronics companies hiked their podcast spending by 47%.


“There were big increases in spend from these two segments speaking to a more active summer season and promotions related to summer,” said Hendrix. “We saw folks talking about Memorial Day, or just about summer.”


In the retail category one example was eBay running podcast ads promoting summer deals on refurbished appliances. And in the consumer electronics category, companies such as Dell and Hisense ran ads promoting Memorial Day sales.


Magellan earlier reported the online mental health service provider BetterHelp was podcasting’s biggest advertiser during May and that has now been the case for nine consecutive months. HelloFresh moved up to second place as ZipRecruiter slid back to third place. It was followed by Amazon and GEICO rounding out the top five.


Magellan analyzes podcast advertising data from the top 3,000 podcasts in the U.S., as ranked by Apple Podcasts. Magellan’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 on select media kits and estimated based on popularity.

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