Based on stronger-than-expected advertising on podcasts during the second half of last year, analysts at eMarketer are upgrading their outlook for the industry in 2021. They now forecast podcast ad revenue will reach $1.33 billion this year. That compares to its previous prediction of $1.28 billion.
“We upgraded our growth estimates due to the 36.8% spike in ad spending during 2020, which will be followed by growth of 38.7% this year and 31.1% in 2022,” says analyst Mariel Soto Reyes. “We previously expected 10.4% growth in 2020,” she noted in the blog post.
Reyes said podcast advertising recovered more quickly than anticipated last year as audience numbers continued to climb and podcast listening becomes “a staple” in many people’s media diet. She said the investment made by companies including Spotify, Amazon, and iHeartMedia on content and ad tech is also helping to bring more marketers onboard.
Apple and Spotify may grab the most headlines, but eMarketer believes it is iHeartMedia that is pocketing the most podcast ad dollars. “We estimate that iHeartMedia – which last year brought in more podcast ad revenues than any other company we track – still accounted for only 10% of total U.S. podcast ad spending in 2020, with the rest distributed across various creators, publishers, and platforms,” said Reyes.
Earlier this month eMarketer said iHeartMedia seems to “fly under the radar” and projected the company had more than $300 million in digital ad revenue in 2020, up 26% over 2019. And they expect that it will top $380 million this year, a projected 26% year-over-year increase.