When the confetti falls on New Year’s Eve, the move into first quarter brings a typical slowdown in the ad market. It also means a decline in CPMs. History repeated last month as Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast says the average CPM rate for a 60-second podcast ad fell 5.4% month-to-month to $22.28. The January average was also down 12% compared to typical CPM of $25.40 a year earlier. Dave Hanley, Chief Revenue Officer at AdvertiseCast, says the lower CPM average is “due to the typical seasonality which follows the holiday season.”
The monthly AdvertiseCast update delivered a rare tie between two podcast segments – shows with fewer than 10,000 downloads and those with between 10,000 and 100,000 downloads – having roughly identical CPM of $23.52. Both were down from December, with the bigger shows down a steeper 10% compared to a two percent decline for mid-sized podcasts. The last time the two segments had the same CPMs were in March 2020 when the impact of the pandemic was just beginning to be felt.
AdvertiseCast says shows with more than 100,000 downloads continue to have the lowest CPMs. That segment’s average declined two percent to $19.83 last month.
The podcast genre that had the highest CPMs in January was Games & Hobbies at $28. There was a tie for second place between the male listener-heavy Technology genre and the female listener-heavy True Crime genre – each had average CPMs of $26.
AdvertiseCast says there are “more accessible” CPMs for advertisers to take advantage from too, including the Art, News, Fiction, and TV genres, each of which averaged CPMs in the low twenties during January.
The upside of lower CPMs is an opportunity for some marketers to test the podcast waters at a discount. “Coming into 2023, we’ve signed several new exclusive podcast advertising partnerships, and many are leveraging our Libsyn Auto Ads offering to augment their host-read program with programmatic ad revenue,” Hanley said.
AdvertiseCast bases the cost per thousand or CPM from actual sales data from more than 3,000 podcasts in its marketplace, including more than 225 exclusive podcasts. While there are month-to-month fluctuations, it says the typical one-minute ad has a $25 CPM while a 30-second ad typically has an average $18 CPM. That is the same as a year ago.