The online counseling service BetterHelp was podcasting’s biggest advertiser during December. Magellan AI says the company spent more than $7 million across 556 podcasts last month, an 80% increase compared to November. It was the most BetterHelp has ever spent on podcasting. The biggest number of ads ran on shows in the Society & Culture genre. The spending brought BetterHelp to $38.7 million for 2020. “Since first quarter of 2020, the Mental Health industry has grown by 430% on podcasts,” said Magellan in the monthly update.
Bank of America also continued to ramp up its podcast investments. It spent more than double in December compared to a month earlier. Magellan said Bank of America spent $3.8 million on 288 shows during December. Its top genre was the male-heavy Sports podcast category.
McDonald’s bumped up its podcast ad spending by 90% in December, and that pushed the brand to a third-place finish. That represented nearly half of all McDonald’s spent on podcasts during 2020.
The home security company SimpliSafe was one of podcasting’s biggest advertisers last year. While its December budget was not as large as some months earlier in the year, Magellan said by year-end SimpliSafe spent more than $22 million in the medium. Its preference leaned toward True Crime shows during December as its ad budget grew 11% month-to-month.
Amazon rounded out the top five. Its ad budget grew 16% in December versus a month earlier as it spread those ad buys widely. Magellan said Amazon ads ran on 468 podcasts. For the year, Amazon spent $16.6 million.
One of podcasting’s biggest brand advertisers last year was ZipRecruiter, investing $21.5 million in the medium. But with December not a big month for hiring, ZipRecruiter cut its ad spending to $1.4 million and made a rare finish outside of Magellan’s monthly top ten.
Magellan also released a monthly list of “movers and shakers” that increased their ad spending. The well-being brand Headspace topped that ranker for December with a 568% increase in its podcast ad spending between November and December.
The Clorox Company ranked second as its podcast ad spending jumped from $174,000 to nearly $1.2 million in December. Hyundai, AMC Networks, and WeWork rounded out the top five. Year-end merrymaking also brought Meiomi Wines to podcasting for the first time in December. Magellan said their ads promoted the convenience of the home delivery options for their wines. Meiomi Wines spent $170,000 on podcasts such as Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang and Stuff You Should Know.
“We detected a 51% increase in advertising for the alcohol industry in November/December 2020, compared to September/October 2020,” said Magellan in a blog post.
In another case, the San Diego based productivity software startup ClickUp recently raised $100 million from investors. And it is spending some of that money on podcasts. Magellan said they spent $590,000 on podcasts in December after making a debut in November with a more modest $23,000 in spending. ClickUp ran ads on podcasts such as Today, Explained and Real Crime Profile.
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.