Stronger demand for inventory during the second quarter pushed podcast ad loads higher according to a new analysis by Magellan AI. It reports the average podcast dedicated 5.3% of its episode time to running commercials during the second quarter. That was a slight increase from 5.1% in the first quarter of the year.
Podcast ad spending grew 71% during the second quarter compared to a year ago and was up 22% versus the first quarter according to Magellan AI. Its latest analysis says driving that growth was the introduction of 2,444 new brands using podcasting during second quarter compared to 875 new additions during the first quarter.
Magellan’s Quarterly Benchmark says the shorter the episode, the more time that went to advertising. For podcast episodes that are 15 minutes or less, they spent an average of 16% of each episode time on advertising. One factor for that could be that nearly a third of those short-length episodes are News or Business category podcasts, two of the genres more in demand by ad buyers.
The most common episode length is in the 30 to 60 minute range, making up nearly half (46%) of the episodes analyzed by Magellan. In that group, it says slightly more than six percent of episode time was dedicated to advertising.
The quarterly update shows a range of spot loads depending on the podcast category. Magellan says three genres – Society & Culture, True Crime and Kids & Family – each dedicated more than six percent of episode time to advertising. While at the other end of the spectrum, Religion & Spirituality turned over less than four percent to ads.
During the second quarter Magellan says that half (51%) of podcast advertising was made up of host-read ads. And 44% came from direct response advertisers. It also says that more than 25% of episodes featured only one advertiser. In those cases, direct response was the campaign objective for advertisers on the majority of episodes.
Magellan’s quarterly update is based on data it collated from 7,600 advertisers who placed ads across 85,000 episodes during the second quarter. 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.
Download a copy of Magellan’s Quarterly Benchmark report including data on how advertising breaks were positioned HERE.