Podcasts are running more ads that they were pre-COVID. That is the conclusion of a new analysis by MediaRadar. Its data shows the average podcast ran 3.7 advertisements during the first half of 2020. That is up 12% compared to the average 3.3 ads than ran during the second half of 2019.
“The number of podcasts averaging seven or more ads per episode nearly doubled—driving the increase in the average number of advertisements,” the report said. “This is not just a result of publishers using more house ads — this increase in advertising is caused 100% by paid ads.”
MediaRadar said its data showed that podcasts grew longer, on average, during the first six months of the year. The company said the average podcast was 50 minutes. That is a seven-minute expansion since late 2019 when the average episode was just shy of 43 minutes.
The analysis said a contributing factor is the fact that commercials are growing longer. Ads that are a minute or longer now made up 46% of all podcast ads during the first half. And between the first six months of this year and the last six months of last year, MediaRadar said the average length of a podcast ad grew 16% longer. “Now, ads typically last fifty seconds,” the report said.
MediaRadar also found more marketers embraced mid-roll ads. In the first half of 2020, 58% of all ads in podcasts were mid-roll according to its data. That was a five percent increase from the second half of last year. “This trend is even larger when we exclude house ads,” its report said. Pre-roll ads made up a quarter of ads, with post-rolls making up the other 18% of ads
The data showed that for paid advertisements, 62% were placed mid-roll in first half of 2020. That was up four percent compared to the second half of last year.
“Advertisers favor mid-roll spots because they are less likely to be skipped,” the report said. “Another way brands try to counteract ad-skipping is with host-read ads.”
MediaRadar’s data showed in the first half of this year nearly three-quarters (72%) of ads were host-read ads. That was up from two-thirds (64%) in the second half of 2019.
Data released earlier by MediaRadar showed that between January and June, the number of advertisers in its sample of podcasts grew by 10%. Its analysis also showed the top five podcast advertisers during the first six months were the online behavioral health services company Better Help, the employment website ZipRecruiter, the video game Best Friends, the website building and hosting company Squarespace, and financial investment firm TD Ameritrade.