Podcast ad spending grew 87% during the third quarter compared to a year ago. And it was up 22% versus the second quarter. That is according to Magellan AI’s quarterly analysis of podcast advertising. The online mental health service provider BetterHelp was the quarter’s top spender, investing an estimated $19.5 million into podcasting – or more than double the $8.8 million spent by No. 2 NBCUniversal. ZipRecruiter ($7.2 million), HelloFresh ($6.5 million) and GEICO ($6.1 million) rounded out the top five.
The top 10 advertisers in Q3 spent $75 million – up from the $67 million spent by the top ten during Q2. The list also includes three new brands, including Capital One, Hewlett- Packard and Helix Sleep.
Magellan says the fastest-growing ad category during third quarter was fantasy sports, boosted by the seasonal return of the NFL. Spending in the category jumped 125% quarter-to-quarter to $10.8 million. There were also big gains in the telecom (+88%), TV and film (+68%) and consumer electronics (+68%) ad categories.
But it is the business services and software category that is most deeply into podcasting. Magellan says 517 brands from that segment placed ads in podcasts during third quarter, including 135 new brands. Financial services was second with 482 different advertisers, followed by food (457) and consumer packaged goods (417).
There was no shortage of newcomers, however. Magellan says it detected 1,785 new podcast advertisers during third quarter. That was less than Q2’s tally of 2,444 but more than the 875 new additions during the first quarter. Magellan estimates the latest batch of new advertisers spent an average of $22,000 with mid-roll spots their most frequent ad placement choice. “Twenty percent of new brands ran on one or more Sports podcasts in Q3,” the report says, adding, “Ten percent of new brands ran on one or more News podcasts.” Arts, Comedy, and Society & Culture were also popular destinations for new podcast advertisers according to the analysis.
The Magellan report says mid-roll ads were the most common ad position overall, accounting for more than half of all podcast ads it detected.
The data also shows a continued concentration of ad spending among the most downloaded shows. It reports more than half – 52% – of all podcast ad spending during the third quarter went to the top 500 podcasts.
“Advertisers spent an average of $180,000 per month on podcasts in the top 500 in Q3,” the report says. “Podcasts ranking 501 to 3,000 generated an average of $26,000 per month in revenue in Q3.”
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 in select media kits and estimated based on popularity.
Download a copy of Magellan’s Podcast Advertising Benchmark Report HERE.