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How Hot Is Audio? IAB Says 3,500 Ad Buyers Registered For 2021 Podcast Upfront.

The old saying is “Three’s a crowd.” But more than three thousand – that’s a medium worth taking notice of. The Interactive Advertising Bureau says 3,500 ad buyers are already registered to attend next month’s 2021 Podcast Upfront. The numbers are expected to grow in the coming weeks as the May 11-13 event draws closer.

Meanwhile, the IAB Has announced its lineup of hosts for the three-day event designed to give brands and ad agencies a first listen to shows that are being cued up for release, as well as to pitch creative opportunities for podcasters to work with advertisers.

Journalist SuChin Pak will host this year’s virtual event. The former host of MTV News and co-producer of the documentary series, “My Life Translated,” has also done reporting for networks such as ABC, NBC, Discovery, Oxygen, and E!. More recently, Pak has taken her journalist talents to podcasting as co-host of Lemonada Media’s Add To Cart, which covers consumer trends, what we buy and what it tells about us.

“With a pulse on news, pop culture and the cultural moment, SuChin will bring a unique voice to this year’s event,” said IAB Vice President Eric John in the announcement. “She is someone who breaks boundaries across TV and podcasting, and we’re excited to have her lead us through three days of content, creativity and insights on the power of podcasts.”

Each day Pak will also have a series of fellow podcasters as co-hosts. On May 11, Gaby Dunn, host of Bad with Money on the Westwood One Podcast Network, will share the role. On May 12, Heather McDonald, host of Stitcher’s Juicy Scoop will join Pak. And on May 13, the duties will be shared with Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei, the co-hosts of NPR’s Throughline. “It is an honor to be hosting this year’s event, and I look forward to working alongside these trailblazing co-hosts to unveil the next evolution in podcasting,” said Pak.

The IAB has also released the final schedule for the 2021 Podcast Upfront. This year’s event, titled “Listen Up,” will feature 33 podcast companies. The event will immediately follow the IAB NewFronts and is designed to bring the video and audio marketplaces side-by-side to allow buyers to plan their digital media more holistically and effectively, the trade group says.

The IAB 2021 Podcast Upfront will also bring the release of the IAB U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Report. The annual update, coproduced with PwC, helps publishers benchmark their performance against the industry and identify new monetization opportunities at the ad category, ad-type and content levels. The report will also enable brands and agencies to learn about the latest opportunities available when investing in podcast advertising and sponsorships.

Media buyers can request a pass to attend the invitation-only event HERE.

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