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With Its Best Revenue Month Since Mid-2022, Audioboom Revenue Rose 11% During First Quarter.

Audioboom says its predictions that podcast advertising was on a stronger footing this year has delivered 11% revenue growth during the first quarter, with total sales of $17.1 million for the company. That is more than double the five percent growth rate seen at the end of last year. March revenue totaled $6.7 million, the highest revenue month for Audioboom since May 2022. CEO Stuart Last expects the ad market to further strengthen in the upcoming quarters.

“We are exactly where we thought we would be at this stage of the year, and exactly where we need to be as well to deliver on our 2024 goals,” Last said. During a conference call Monday with investors, he called the ad market more stable than during the past year, noting Audioboom has more than $55 million of revenue for 2024 from advance advertising bookings already sold.

“It's now more stable but still weaker compared to the last five years. We can work with that. We can plan for stability,” Last said. “We have a new normal in the advertising market. Demand is pretty stable month-to-month. But improvements are going to be slow and steady. But it will be some time before we can call it a healthy advertising market.”

The first quarter is typically the lightest for advertising, but Audioboom says it managed to squeeze out a $100,000 profit during those months. While that was half the size of its profit during the same period a year ago, it was the second consecutive quarter in the black for Audioboom. Last said the ad market’s recovery has “perfectly positioned” the company to deliver record revenue and profitability this year. That would be a turnaround from last year, when Audioboom lost $16.8 million.

Audioboom also says in its update to investors that it continues to restructure its creator contracts with revenue shares on more favorable terms for the company. It has also wiped out more than $5 million in minimum guarantee obligations to creators in recent months.

Audioboom says it had a record 7,839 brand advertisers during the first quarter, an increase of 21% versus a year ago. Those buyers paid a record price too, with Audioboom reporting its eCPM – or the revenue per 1,000 downloads – climbed 27% year over year to $52.17. Its programmatic marketplace Showcase also had record revenue in March.

“Brands continue to put money into podcasting — so that brand count number continues to grow,” Last said. He said the creation of Showcase makes it easier to bring more into the medium. “We're seeing some really good success,” he said. “We're now doing business with eight of the top 15 agencies in U.S. digital advertising. There are a lot of barriers to entry We have to get inside these big agencies and show off what Audioboom can do, and test the platform with brands, and we're making very good progress there.”

More Money From YouTube

In 2022, each podcast episode averaged 5.3 ad breaks on Audioboom. By December 2023, the number had increased to eight. Combined with more listeners and shows, that resulted in a record number of avails for clients. More than 1.1 billion impressions were made available to Audioboom customers in March, a 10% increase on the previously announced record of 1.0 billion set in October 2023.

Meanwhile, as more Acast shows are also distributed on YouTube, Last said they see a growing opportunity to sell ads for both the audio and video versions of the episodes. Going forward, he thinks those video views will bring even more revenue than similar audio ads could generate.

“YouTube really is gaining popularity when it comes to podcasting, particularly with the younger podcast audiences,” Last said. “We believe that the audience can be more valuable than the audio part. We can do product placements, we can do deeper brand integration, and those hold more value. They sell at a higher price and are more valuable to the brands.”

Despite the continued impact of iOS 17 changes on download numbers, Audioboom sees a silver lining in its 110 million average global monthly downloads during the first quarter. While that is down from 125 million a year ago, it says 12% decline significantly outperforms the overall market.

“Audioboom, I'm pleased to say, has been much more resilient,” Last said. “We've done that by signing more podcasts to the network. And we are the go-to platform for new shows. And that has offset some of that download decrease, whereas competitors have not been as successful as doing that.” Going forward, he added, the impact of the changes will create a “more favorable” ad marketplace since it will mean higher increased levels of return-on-investment that more accurate download data for marketers.

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