The IAB will host its first virtual Podcast Upfront in September, for advertisers and media buyers to preview upcoming podcast programming.
This is the organization's sixth annual Podcast Upfront.
The three-day upfront will showcase digital audio content from more than 20 presenters from sports, music, comedy and news organizations.
Last year's upfront was held on one day with about 15 presenters.
While podcast consumption tended to have a “strong correlation with consumer travel and commuting periods,” Zoe Soon, IAB’s vice president, Consumer Experience Center of Excellence, stated the COVID-19 pandemic “has done very little to slow down the market’s exponential growth.”
“Podcasts have proven to be a resilient and influential medium.”
Podcast advertising revenue is expected to climb 14.7% this year — nearing $1 billion in the U.S. However, that’s down from an estimated 29.6% growth before the pandemic hit.
This year’s presenters include Acast and feature BBC, American Public Media, ART19, Authentic, Barstool Sports, Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios (both part of Entercom’s podcast network), ESPN, Forever Dog Productions, iHeartRadio, Meredith Corporation, Midroll Media, NPR, PMM, Pushkin Industries, Sony Music Entertainment, Vox Media Podcast Network, WarnerMedia Podcast Network, Westwood One and Wondery.
The IAB Podcast Upfront will also include an insight presentation from AdsWizz.
In addition, IAB is offering students the opportunity to attend the event through IAB Access, a two-part program giving free access to industry events to students. The organization is also providing access to IAB’s online training programs to transitioning professionals affected by the pandemic.
“Due to the pandemic, many internships were cancelled. And although the core of IAB’s mission is setting existing media and marketing professionals up to thrive, it is just as important to invest in our industry’s next generation,” stated Sheryl Goldstein, executive vice president, member engagement and development.
“2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for many in our industry, which is why we are offering free access to key industry events and online classes, to make sure no one is left behind,” she added.