The end of mask mandates on airplanes and beyond could be a boost for podcast advertising if recent months are any indication. Magellan AI says travel industry ad spending in the medium continues to grow with total travel industry spending increasing 50% or $1.1 million between February and March when the segment brought in more than $3 million in revenue for podcasters.
“Travel has continued to increase its spend,” said Magellan CEO Cameron Hendrix. “We see travel brands continue to come back to the podcast advertising market and spend as COVID and travel restrictions are reduced,” he said on a webinar detailing their monthly analysis of top spenders. The ad tracking firm says compared to last March, the travel industry’s spending increased by 1,354% year-over-year last month. Driving those increases was spending from travel brands such as Priceline, Expedia, and Princess Cruises.
The pharmaceutical ad category was also one of March’s strongest performers. Its total spending increased 53% from February with more than $1.3 million of pharma ads appearing on podcasts last month. Hendrix said that while some of the ad spending by drug makers is seasonal in nature, the trend lines have been moving higher. In February more was spent in a single month than in any month during the first quarter of 2021 with increases from brands including Novo Nordisk, Nurtec ODT, and ZzzQuill.
Magellan earlier reported that the online mental health company BetterHelp spent nearly triple any other podcast advertiser during March, keeping it as the industry’s biggest spender. Magellan AI says the nutrition supplement maker Athletic Greens advanced it to second place, followed by HelloFresh, ZipRecruiter, and Progressive Insurance. Overall, Magellan estimates the top 15 podcast advertisers spent a combined $36.77 million during March. That compared to a total $36.86 million spent by the top 15 during February.
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.