Podcast makers are getting more and more interest from marketers looking to tap into listeners, but their growth remains constrained by the lack of independent audience benchmarks.
U.S. advertisers spent $479.1 million advertising on podcasts in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reports, up 53% from about $313.9 million a year earlier, according to a new report from the industry group Interactive Advertising Bureau and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC.
Opportunities to target podcast ads are on the rise, according to the report. Dynamically inserted ads, which are added to podcasts when they are downloaded instead of when they are first released, comprised 48.8% of podcast ads sold last year, up from 41.7% the year before. They can be targeted to specific consumer segments based on data pegged to users’ IP addresses or other characteristics. Some podcasting apps pick up devices’ unique mobile advertising identifiers.
Podcast advertising is expected to rise to $678.7 million this year, the report said. However, ad spending on podcasts has remained relatively small compared with more established media, hindered in part by a lack of metrics and targeting capabilities.
Podcasters and their advertisers are still waiting for a standard, widely used method of measuring listens, which would provide more precise audience metrics than download counts.