BetterHelp Led May’s Top Podcast Spenders, But It Was A Month Of Moves By Big Consumer Brands.


The online mental health brand BetterHelp was one of the pandemic’s winners, and at mid-year it shows no signs of pulling back on podcast ad spending in 2022. Magellan AI says BetterHelp spent an estimated $7.7 million during May, outpacing all other advertisers. Comedy series were the most common recipients, but BetterHelp rode the so-called longtail of podcasts – Magellan says it placed ads on 715 different shows.


Ahead of its annual Prime Day sales event, Amazon ramped up its ad spending on podcasts last month. Magellan says it more than doubled (+109%) its spending from a month earlier investing an estimated $4.6 million on podcasts. That was enough to put it in second place after a No. 7 finish in April. Despite a smaller budget, Amazon spent on more shows than any other brand last month – Magellan detected its ads on 721 podcasts. It, too, was most likely to place ads in Comedy shows.


Third place Progressive insurance increased its spending by 12% to an estimated $2.6 million. No. 4 SimpliSafe increased its spending 11% during May and moved up from sixth place a month earlier. Unlike the top three spenders, SimpliSafe ads were most commonly heard in Sports genre podcasts.


ZipRecruiter ad spending could be an indicator of any potential economic slowdown and for the time being its ad spending on podcasts is holding steady. It spent $2.4 million last month for a fifth-place finish.


Magellan’s monthly top 15 for May also includes some less commonly seen brand names, albeit some of the biggest. It says Google spent an estimated $1.9 million on podcast ads last month. At No. 11, Google spent the biggest share of its ad dollars with Society & Culture podcasts.


The other less commonly seen brand on the ranker is PepsiCo, which is likely driven by the summer season. Magellan says it spent $1.5 million across 412 different shows, with Sports its most-used genre.


Magellan’s list of movers and shakers – the brands that increased their podcast spending during the month – was led by Google and PepsiCo. But it also included another well-known brand. Cadillac started advertising on podcasts for the first time in May, spending more than $400,00 according to Magellan estimates. It says it used the ads to promote the all-electric 2023 Cadillac IONIQ. In a blog post, Magellan points out that mirrors a trend it saw in April when competitors Chevrolet and Hyundai started to promote their electric vehicles on podcasts. Cadillac used a mix of host-read and produced ads, primarily in mid-roll positions averaging around 60 seconds in length.


Big names like American Express and JCPenney also turned up on May’s list. Magellan says the credit card company spent $287,000 while the department store chain spent $182,000. The discount big box store Walmart also was a mover. Magellan estimates it spent $409,000 on podcast ads last month – or more than triple what it spent in April.


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 in select media kits and estimated based on popularity.

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