Magellan: Podcast Ad Spending Grew 71% In Second Quarter; BetterHelp Was Top Spender.


Podcast ad spending grew 71% during the second quarter of 2021 compared to a year ago according to Magellan AI. While that comparison may be easy considering a year ago was the worst of the pandemic impact, Magellan says compared to first quarter it estimates total ad spending increased 22%. Its latest analysis says driving that growth was the introduction of more than 2,400 new brands using podcasting to spread their message.


In a signal of a strengthening ad marketplace, Magellan says it also saw podcast ad spending’s growth rate tick higher in each consecutive month during the second quarter. But as has traditionally been the case, the bigger shows received more of the dollars. Magellan says advertisers spent an average of $154,000 per month on podcasts ranking in the top 500 during the quarter. That compared to an average of $21,000 for shows that ranked between 501 and 3,000. As a result, its analysis shows the top 500 podcasts pocketed more than half – 53% -- of total podcast ad spending during the quarter.


The online mental health service provider BetterHelp, which has spent more than any other brand in each of the past ten months, was unsurprisingly podcasting’s biggest advertiser during second quarter. Magellan estimates it spent $18 million during the quarter. That was nearly three-times that of second place ZipRecruiter, which spent $6.8 million. Rounding out the top five spenders were HelloFresh ($6.6 million), Amazon ($6 million) and GEICO ($5.7 million).


The top 10 advertisers in Q2 spent a combined $66 million, which was a 40% uptick from the $47 million spent by the top ten during first quarter. Magellan also notes that eight of the top ten were repeats from the prior quarter, with new additions of NBCUniversal, which spent $5.2 million, and Stamps.com, which spent $4.3 million.


The fastest-growing ad categories during the quarter reflected a return to more normal life in America as more people became vaccinated. Topping the list were travel (+270%), gifts (+220%), furniture (+182%), beer (+171%), and live entertainment (+129%).


But the Magellan data shows it was consumer services and software companies that spent the most overall, spending an estimated $27.3 million during second quarter. Automotive ranked second at $21.9 million, followed by insurance at $20.1 million.


For podcasting to continue growing, it will need to bring new advertisers to the medium. On that front, Magellan has good news. It detected 2,444 new brands using podcasting during second quarter compared to 875 new additions during the first quarter. The average new brand spent about $20,000 running spots that averaged 54-seconds. Midrolls were their most frequent pick.


Sports and News podcasts picked up the most new advertisers according to the report. It says one in five new advertisers ran an ad on a Sports podcast. And 17% of newbies went to News. Comedy, Arts, and Society & Culture were also popular choices among marketers giving podcasting a first go-round.


Overall, a quarter of podcasts featured only one advertiser per episode according to Magellan. It says direct response was the campaign objective for advertisers on the majority of episodes with only one advertiser.


Magellan’s quarterly update is based on data it collated from 7,600 advertisers who placed ads across 85,000 episodes during the second quarter. 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.


Download a copy of Magellan’s Quarterly Benchmark report HERE.

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