Podcast – The Next Big Thing in Advertising

By Richard Doyle

Podcasts companies are growing, and sparing no expenses 

Spotify has been making a lot of big plays in building up its podcast platform. As you’ve probably heard they made an exclusive deal for Joe Rogan’s podcast in May, for a rumored $100 million dollars. Last week Spotify has yet again continued its conquest by a deal with celebrity Kim Kardashian to host an exclusive podcast in the near future. This isn’t even mentioning the over $600 million dollars they’ve already spent the past year and a half, with other big-name deals, and even buying out start-up podcast companies completely.

What does this have to do with advertising? 

This is a massive indication of where advertising is heading in the future. It shows how podcasts are on their way of becoming one of the biggest and most important mediums to advertise on. 

How do the Spotify deals indicate this? 

Spotify wouldn’t be spending millions on growing its podcast platform if there wasn’t a good return on their investment. They’ll make the money back with ease and could soon become an entertainment streaming giant, and it’s all because of the advertising. 

Podcast ads have already been growing 

Advertising revenue from podcasts has been dramatically increasing every year, as seen here by the International Advertising Bureau’s report. 

IAB Study
International Advertising Bureau. (2019.) IAB 2018 Podcast Ad Revenue Study.

This indicates that from 2015 to 2019 alone, total ad revenue from podcasts had increased by 542.1% . . . And over $1 billion will be made from it next year . . .

You could say podcast advertising is growing.

They are growing for a reason

The increase in ad spending isn’t solely from an increased podcast viewership. The advantages of podcast advertising are being discovered and utilized. Here are just a few reasons why it’s so effective:

Hitting Target Markets

  • There are podcasts for almost any topic/theme to choose from, which means any company can find a podcast relevant to their brand to advertise on. 
  • Each podcast can be extremely specific in its own theme/topic, allowing any related product or service advertised to engage with a massive majority of the audience. 
  • Each podcast’s audience can be perceived as an already existing market segment that can be analyzed and targeted like any other. 


  • Sponsor’s ads cannot be blocked through any kind of premium membership or ad-blocking tool as it’s done through the host directly and during the podcast.
  • Podcast hosts are knowledgable of their audience, trusted by them, and persuasive to them.
  • Hosts themselves execute the sponsor’s promotion and often do so in a way that makes it flow more naturally into the show. The sponsoring company can even become part of the podcast discussion.
  • Advertisers directly chose the podcasts they wish to sponsor, giving them full control at reaching certain audiences unlike ads inserted through algorithms. 

The future of the ad industry

It’s quite transparent that advertisers will be spending more on podcasts as time goes on for the unique value they bring. Audio ads are booming once again, podcasts are the second radio, and advertisers are going to utilize it.

What’s more unclear is how it will affect the ad industry itself. Agencies may develop more podcasting tools, entirely new jobs or departments might be made. It could also all be streamlined and moved heavily in-house leading to agency decline. Although, this is all just pure speculation.

What about your future?

More importantly, you should ask yourself how knowing this information can change YOUR future in the ad industry. What skills do you have that you think will be relevant to podcast advertising? Is it a field you’d like to work in? Because this could be your chance to stand out to employers. 

Understanding the industry

While others may express their knowledge of an already well-known subject like social media planning or search engine optimization in an interview, you can express your knowledge of something much newer. Not only are you revealing you have skills they could be very likely short of, but you’re expressing you understand the industry and its future. Podcasts are just one of the foreseeable changes in the industry, what are the others? Try and find out, and take advantage of it. 



International Advertising Bureau. (2019.) IAB 2018 Podcast Ad Revenue Study.

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