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Thirty Podcast Companies Set To Present During May’s IAB Podcast Upfront.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau says 30 podcast companies are slated to take part in the IAB Podcast Upfront, scheduled for May 11-13. The podcast-focused event will come hot on the heels of the IAB NewFronts, which is expected to have thousands of buyers registered to attend. Bringing both the video and audio marketplaces side-by-side from a timing perspective will allow buyers to plan their overall digital media buys more holistically and effectively, the trade group says.

Eric John, VP of the IAB’s Media Center, says podcasting and streaming audio have been particularly resilient throughout the pandemic due to consumers’ increased media consumption in general but also given how many listening contexts there now are throughout the day. “So it’s no surprise media buyers are recognizing the opportunity to engage these audiences,” he says. “Budget-wise, buyers are increasingly looking to manage and execute campaigns with the consumer at the center.”

This year’s event, titled “Listen Up,” will give brands and ad agencies exclusive “first listen” access to upcoming podcast releases. It will also feature nine "Showcase" presentations over the three-day event that focus on emerging podcast creators, including Audio Up Media, At Will Media, Blue Wire, Headgum, Kast Media, Locked On Podcast Network, QCode, Spoken Layer, and Wonder Media Network. In addition, Libsyn will be presenting at the IAB Podcast Upfront for the first time in 2021.

Last year’s IAB Podcast Upfront drew a diverse audience of more than 3,800 brands, agencies, and media buyers. John expects to top that in 2021. “With first-time presenter Libsyn and exclusive ‘first listen’ access to the year’s most exciting releases, previews of creative opportunities, and insights, we anticipate our largest audience ever,” he says.

The IAB 2021 Podcast Upfront will also bring the release of the IAB U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Report. The annual update, coproduced with PwC, helps publishers benchmark their performance against the industry and identify new monetization opportunities at the ad category, ad-type and content levels. The report will also enable brands and agencies to learn about the latest opportunities available when investing in podcast advertising and sponsorships.

Media buyers can request a pass to attend the invitation-only event HERE.

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