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More Than Half Of Marketers Plan To Increase Podcast Ad Spending This Year, Survey Finds.

The podcast industry is targeting more than $2 billion in revenue in 2022 and a new survey of ad buyers around the globe offers an optimistic outlook that could occur. More than half of marketers surveyed by WARC say they plan to increase their ad spending on podcasts this year. The report shows that 54% of marketers said they will increase their investment in podcasts in 2022, while another 26% expect their spending levels will hold flat with last year. Just four percent plan to cut back on podcast spending.

Nearly as noteworthy of the expected spending gains is how widespread podcast advertising has become. The findings are based on a WARC survey of more than 1,350 marketers. And among that large sample, only 16% said they did not spend money on podcast advertising.

“Marketer enthusiasm for online channels shows no sign of slowing following the COVID-19 disruption across the media landscape. Online video and social media lead the way, while newer channels like podcasts are also attracting higher spend,” the report says. “Investment in legacy channels, though, is expected to be largely flat as the pandemic rebound eases.”

The data shows that 14% of the marketers it surveyed plan to boost their spending in radio this year, with another 41% holding their radio ad budgets on par with 2021. Yet similar to most other traditional offline media, more than a quarter (27%) of the marketers WARC surveyed said they plan to trim their radio budgets this year. That is roughly the same as the number that said they were planning to scale down their television and out of home media spending.

WARC’s tracking of worldwide ad spending, its Global Marketing Index (GMI), showed the continued recovery of ad spending throughout 2021 – albeit with a small dip in September and December levels that were on par with November.

The state of the recovery is clear in the index’s value – it was 64.2 in November versus 19.7 in May 2020 when WARC recovered its lowest-ever value. “While all regions remained in growth in 2021, it is the Americas that showed the highest rate of growth overall, peaking at 69.3 in August,” the report says.

WARC says its tracking of global marketing budgets began and ended 2021 in growth. It says that is likely due to a combination of increased marketing spending in recovering economies as well as due to media inflation that is driving ad prices higher. Its report also notes that how well things go in 2022 will be colored as the shift from COVID-19 as a pandemic to being endemic, which it says could have an impact on future progress.

"The Global Marketing Index 2021 shows a consistent overall increase in growth throughout the year, which culminated in November recording the highest Global Headline Index value since the inception of the report in 2011,” said Zoe McCready, Senior Research Executive at WARC. “This reflects an industry that is largely weathering the impact of the pandemic as it rapidly adjusts to new trading conditions which point to the ongoing strength of digital and mobile channels driven by the continued rise of e-commerce.”

The report did not include a market budget trend for podcast, but in radio the WARC data shows that after smaller radio ad budgets were recorded during the first half, radio posted gains during the second half of 2021. Out of home media spending followed a similar split between the two halves of the year.

The so-called Great Resignation is also impacting marketing staffing globally, with companies reporting higher turnover that is turning the power dynamic between employers and employees on its head. This is especially the case in the U.S. where the impact may be the biggest.

“Increased staffing levels recorded globally make up for the impact of the Great Resignation, however, this could present productivity challenges in 2022, especially in the Americas, due to factors such as skills shortages,” said McCready.

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