The ad tracking platform MediaRadar reports advertisers spent 21% more on podcasts last year compared to 2020. It estimates nearly $590 million was spent on podcast advertising during 2021. In a year that marked a recovery of the advertising marketplace, MediaRadar data shows that second quarter had the strongest growth rate of 46%. It says fourth quarter podcast ad spending rose at a more modest five percent compared to a year earlier. It says marketers spent $160 million on podcasts during the final three months of the year.
MediaRadar says the online mental health provider BetterHelp was the biggest podcast advertiser last year. It was followed by Capital One, Geico, SimpliSafe, Comcast, ZipRecruiter, Amazon, Squarespace, Bank of America, and State Farm.
MediaRadar says the top podcast advertisers are also utilizing TV, print, and other digital formats. Among its findings: 59% of podcast users are also advertising in digital display, 40% are in digital mobile, 36% use digital video, and 40% advertise on broadcast and cable TV.
Across the various ad verticals, MediaRadar says the tech sector accounted for 18% of total podcast ad dollars last year. Media ranked second, with 15%, followed by the financial sector, which made up 13% of podcast industry ad revenue last year.
Looking at ad location and duration, MediaRadar found mid-roll ads were the most popular among ad buyers last year. They accounted for a majority (55%) of the ads that ran, followed by pre-roll ads (26%) and post-roll ads (19%). Overall, MediaRadar says most of the ads that ran were 30 seconds in length (42%).
“Podcast listening has exploded over the last two years,” said MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman. “Because of the pandemic, more people have discovered podcasts, providing advertisers with loyal, niche audiences they can connect with. This is a valuable medium for marketers and publishers and we expect growth to continue.”
MediaRadar’s numbers are based on its platform’s intelligence capabilities powered by a proprietary combination of AI and machine learning. Through its technology, MediaRadar distills multi-channel campaign intelligence, including how much was spent on podcasts. It says the podcast numbers are based on the spending by more than four million brands and what was spent within the 500 top podcasts across multiple content categories.