Podcasts Can Attract New Sponsors in Addition to New Audience

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According to a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the American podcast industry brought in an estimated $314 million in advertising revenue in 2017, up 86% from the $169 million reported the year before. It beat projections established in the previous revenue study, which predicted that the ad business would grow to around $220 million in 2017. The study further predicts that podcast advertising will hit $659 million by 2020.
Other findings from IAB's podcast study:
Pre-produced ads make up a third of all ad types among the companies doing podcasts. Host-read ads make up the dominant remainder. In the podcasts that I've listened to, those host-read ads come off very effective. Usually they're at the beginning when the music has just ended, some playful banter has begun, and the atmosphere feels breezy—but in a good-content-to-come way.
Branded podcasts grew from 1.5% to 6.5% of all ad revenue between 2016 and 2017, displaying an increasing industry reliance on the hefty ad product.
A spending analysis by ad category found that financial services took the top spot with an 18% share, followed by direct-to-consumer retailers, which accounted for 16%, and arts and entertainment, at 13%.
Of the 14 podcast content genres measured, the top four generated more than half of the advertising revenue in 2017: Arts/Entertainment (17%); Technology (15%); News/Politics/Current Events (13%); Business (11%)
"This report confirms that podcasting is an extremely viable option for advertisers," said Mark McCrery, CEO of Authentic and Podtrac. "More and more advertisers are discovering that podcast advertising delivers great impact for their campaigns and repeat advertiser confidence is high with 38% of podcast ad spending coming from annual upfront buys."
Craig Sorrell, marketing manager at Results Direct, advises the seeking out of direct sponsorships, even if you're just starting. "[You] can say, 'Hey, we're just starting out, but we have 10,000 members/[subscribers]. This is [for them].'"
Here are some sponsored examples in the SIPA world:
From Lessiter Media's Farm Equipment: "In this episode, brought to you by Iron Solutions, host Casey Seymour of Moving Iron LLC talks with Shawn Skaggs of Livingston Machinery, a 4-store AGCO dealership in Western Oklahoma and Texas... Before we turn things over to Casey, just a quick word from Iron Solutions who is making this podcast a reality."
In the Access Intelligence POWER Podcast I listened to, the sponsor was the Distributed Energy Conference.
ICD10monitor, a division of SIPA member Panacea Healthcare Solutions, holds a popular weekly podcast called Talk Ten Tuesdays. Ads populate the landing page. They also use the podcasts to promote ICD University (which has its own webcasts and products) and a workshop series. The shows are weekly and usually a half-hour long.

Spidell Publishing's California Minute podcast often promotes their popular upcoming seminars on a related topic, offering a discount for anyone listening. (After a brief hiatus for the deadlines of tax season, it's back.)

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…