Podcast Monetization Heats Up
For a decade podcast ad revenue was stuck in sort of a download purgatory. While more Americans were consuming podcasts over those years, the format was hurt because the primary method of distribution was the download. The problem with downloads is simple – even if a listener consumes a podcast and hears the ads within it, there’s no way to prove they did. Without proof that ads could be seen or heard, podcast monetization never really took off.
But now things are changing. As podcast distribution pivots from downloads to streaming, which comes with ad tracking, revenue is starting to pick up. According to Magna Research podcasting will clear $680M in the US during 2019, and is projected to top $1B by 2022. As you can see below, they’re forecasting an impressive growth trajectory.
While there are no hard numbers on the types of ads driving this surge, we can assume the vast majority of today’s revenue comes from host read audio ads which are recorded within the content itself. We still haven’t seen much in the way of ad insertion into commercial pods, like what occurs between songs on the music side of audio streaming. Once ad insertion mainstreams we’ll start to see podcasting fulfill its true revenue potential.