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Influencer Summit To Bring Together Creators and Brands to Discuss the Future of Podcast Advertising


Traditional ad budgets may be under pressure, but influencer marketing dollars are forecast to keep growing this year. Not just an opportunity for brands to make deeper connections with listeners, the format is also a way for audio producers to secure new ad dollars. But cracking open the influencer door remains tough for a lot of podcasters, so the iHeartPodcast Network is planning a one-day event to bring creators and brands together to discuss the future of podcast advertising.


The hands-on educational event slated for April 26 at the iHeartMedia offices in New York will feature a diverse lineup of podcast experts, including Black Effect Podcast Network founder Charlamagne Tha God, Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast host Holly Frey, and Pushkin Industries cofounder Malcolm Gladwell. The event will also feature several of the biggest marketers. Together, they will explain why podcasting is growing rapidly and how brands need to adapt, invest and create audio advertising that resonates with podcast fans.


“This event came together because our podcast creators are deeply invested in the brands and advertising that become part of their shows, that they asked us to give them a chance to sit down with marketers at scale and talk about what makes host-read creative work,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. “What really differentiates podcasting and our iHeartPodcast Network from other mediums is that creators and fans expect the advertising to be endemic to the shows, often voiced by the hosts and authentic to the listening experience. This is a chance to roll up our sleeves and co-create, collaborate and showcase the simplicity, speed and creative potential of podcasting.”


The event will feature workshops and discussions about the future of podcast advertising. In breakout sessions, creators like Pushkin’s Malcom Gladwell will connect with brands on how to understand his audience and create a spot that pulls listeners in. Frey will also put on a masterclass in podcast marketing. Other topics will include how to do great audio influencer marketing, how to select creators, how to collaborate with podcast influencers, how to measure their impact on campaigns.


“Audio storytelling has shown itself to be such a powerful medium over the past few years. At Pushkin Industries, in partnership with iHeartPodcasts, we’ve been able to be a part of that - developing and empowering some of the best creators at work today in podcasting,” said Gladwell. “Connecting those creators with exactly the right brand partners is the other side of the coin – a critical part of our role – and we can’t wait to focus hard on that as part of the iHeartMedia summit.”


A new survey from Advertiser Perceptions points to continued growth in influencer ad spending. It says 12% of digital ad budgets were allocated to creator and influencer marketing in 2022. And even more promising is the fact that 53% plan to increase that budget line in 2023. The survey finds that mid-tier and macro-level creators – those who reach between 50,000 and one million people – are most likely to be tapped as brands look to reach young audiences. The dollars are most likely to come out of traditional media budgets. The findings are based on an Advertiser Perceptions survey of more than 200 advertisers and 125 creators in the U.S. late last year.


Podcasters are already benefiting, according to eMarketer, which says in the past two years podcasts and influencers have been the fastest growing advertising channel for marketers. Podcasting ad revenue is forecast to grow 68% between 2021 and 2023, while influencer ad spending is expected to increase 58% during the two-year period.


“If you can have talent such as Will Ferrell, Paris Hilton, Bethenny Frankel, Wilmer Valderrama and other influential hosts as your creative partner, imagine the possibilities and how powerful your podcast campaign will be,” said iHeart CMO Gayle Troberman. “This will be a breakthrough moment for the ad industry to see why podcasting is the fastest growing medium with the lowest ad-skipping rates of any medium.”


Marketers interested in joining the Wednesday, April 26 summit can send an email HERE.

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