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Podcasting’s Top 15 Spent 7% More In May As Several Brands Concentrate Ads On Fewer Shows.


The sight of BetterHelp atop the list of biggest podcast advertisers each month has become nearly routine, but the online mental health brand’s commitment to the medium has been solidified during the past few months. After boosting its podcast ad spending by 20% in April, it followed up by spending even more during May. Magellan AI estimates BetterHelp spent $11.6 million last month, a 15% month-to-month increase, as its ads appeared across 711 different podcasts.


BetterHelp spent nearly twice what second place Amazon did last month, despite a sizeable 31% jump in the ecommerce company’s ad spending. Magellan AI says Amazon spent $6.5 million as it concentrated its ads on 316 shows.


HelloFresh remained in third place, despite pulling back its spending 14% compared to April. Magellan AI says the meal kit delivery service allocated $4.2 million across 171 different podcasts.


Google was on Magellan AI’s movers and shakers list in April, and it lived up to expectations during May when, thanks to a 40-fold increase in its podcast ad spending, it landed in the top five. Google spent an estimated $3.2 million on 505 podcasts.


Thanks to a 20% increase in its spending, Athletic Greens returned to the top five in May. Magellan AI estimates it invested $2.8 million across 125 podcasts last month.


Across the top 15, Magellan AI says advertisers spent 7% more in May, compared to April. Podcasting’s biggest advertisers shelled out a combined $46.862 million last month versus $43.586 million in April.


In a move that bears watching in future months, Magellan AI data also reveals that several of the industry’s biggest advertisers concentrated their spending on fewer shows last month, even as they increased their spending in many cases.


Despite spending $1.5 million more, BetterHelp placed ads on 277 fewer shows in May than it did in April when its dollars were spread across 988 different podcasts.


Amazon, too, increased its budget but cut back on where those ads turned up. During May, Magellan AI detected Amazon ads on 316 podcasts versus 767 in April. And while HelloFresh trimmed its spending last month, its ads appeared on far fewer shows with ads detected on 171 shows compared to 683 a month earlier.


Progressive Insurance, which cut its spending by 5% and slipped out of the top five spenders during May, went from having its ads heard on 999 podcasts in April to being detected on 238 shows during May. Meantime, McDonalds, which shot into the top 15 in April by running ads on 1,307 podcasts, fell off the ranker for May.


Across the top 15, the Sports genre was the most used by 12 of the top 15 advertisers according to Magellan AI’s estimates. Three other advertisers spent most of their money in the Comedy genre.


Tech company IBM leads Magellan AI’s movers and shaker’s list – its monthly ranking of the brands that increased their ad spending on podcasting the most. IBM increased its spending eight-fold last month to $1.1 million. Energy company BP was a close second, as it spent $907,000 – a 51-fold increase month-to-month.


The seasonal nature of advertising also turns up on the movers and shakers list, with big gains by travel site Trip Advisor and concert and event promoter Live Nation.


Magellan analyzes podcast advertising data from the top 3,000 podcasts in the U.S., as ranked by Apple Podcasts. Magellan AI’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.

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