BetterHelp Remained Podcasting’s Top Ad Spender In May, Dell Is The Big Mover.


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. Magellan AI says the company significantly amped up its spending. It estimates BetterHelp spent $5.67 million during May. That was a 38% increase from its April spending. It spread its ad dollars across 532 podcasts last month, mostly in the Society & Culture genre.


HelloFresh moved up to second place, with an estimated $2.34 million worth of podcast ads in May. That was a 42% increase from April as the meal kit delivery company placed ads on 248 podcasts.


Despite boosting its spending by 20% versus a month earlier, ZipRecruiter slid back to third place with $2.31 million in podcast ads. It was followed by Amazon, which lifted its spending by 25% to $2.28 million. And GEICO held its budget steady month-to-month at $1.78 million to round out the top five.


Magellan says Dell topped the monthly list of movers and shakers – the brands that had the biggest month-to-month increase in their spending. It spent $645,000 on podcast ads during May versus $97,000 in April. Dell increased its spending as part of a marketing effort tied to National Small Business Week. Dell relied on host-read ads to promote its secure PCs with Windows 10 Pro to small businesses. “Dell faces little competition in this category, as none of the other PC brands are currently active in podcast ads. The ads are concentrated in the Sports and Business genres, primarily as mid-roll ads,” says Magellan in a blog post.


Credit Karma ranked second on the movers and shakers list as its podcast ad spending went from $5,000 in April to $461,000 in May. It marks a change of strategy for the brand, which Magellan says has “sporadically” run ads in podcasts during the past few years. The majority of Credit Karma’s ads are host-read with a direct response call to action prompting listeners to go to its website. Most (91%) are mid-rolls.


“Podcast ads are a popular channel for financial services companies, but Credit Karma stands apart in their creative, offering reimbursement sweepstakes and checking accounts. Capital One was the only other financial institution promoting checking accounts in May,” says Magellan.


Five of Magellan’s monthly movers and shakers went from spending nothing in April to investing in podcasting in May. They included CubeSmart ($374,000), Wells Fargo ($121,000), Hisense ($116,000), Blizzard Entertainment ($115,000) and Charles Tyrwhitt ($64,000).


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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