U.S. Podcast Ad Spend Spiked 21%, To $590M, In 2021

U.S. podcast advertising spend jumped 21% in 2021, to reach nearly $590 million, according to new data from MediaRadar.

Spending rose by 46% year-over-year in Q2, and 31% YoY in Q3 (chart above).

Vertical categories showing double-digit growth in spend included tech, media and finance. The top 10 categories accounted for 83% of total podcast spend for the year:

The top-10 podcast advertisers were Teladoc Health (BetterHelp), Capital One, Berkshire Hathaway (Geico), Capital One, ZipRecruiter, 
Simplisafe, Comcast, Amazon, Squarespace, Coors and Progressive. (Spending amounts by brand not provided). They accounted for 15.9% of total 2021 podcast spend.

Q4's top 10 were the same, with two exceptions: Bank of America and State Farm replaced Coors and Progressive.

"The data suggests that podcast advertising is effective," notes the report. "Once brands become podcast advertisers, they tend to stay with the format: 79% of podcast advertisers from 2020 continued buying in the format in 2021, and the top spenders were some of the most steady advertisers."

Looking at ad location and duration, mid-roll ads were the most popular. They accounted for 55% of all ads run, followed by pre-roll ads (26%) and post-roll ads (19%). Overall, most of the ads that ran were 30 seconds in length (42%).

U.S podcast ad spending in Q4 totaled nearly $160 million, and with only minor differences, the trends were very similar to the year's first three quarters, according to MediaRadar. "If trends remain similar to those of the last three quarters, we expect to see similar spending in Q1 of 2022," notes the report.

MediaRadar offers sales intelligence tools for media and ad tech and new business development tools for agencies.

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