IAB 2021 Podcast Advertising Revenue Study

Heather Osgood reacts to the 2021 IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study. There were some good and bad surprises.

The IAB releases its Podcast Advertising Revenue Study each year, and I love this report. It gives us a benchmark on where we’re at as an industry regarding podcast advertising. The study has interesting findings, and I recommend you download it.


Source: 2021 IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study
The study reflects how the podcast industry has grown significantly over the past few years. The total revenue made in 2021 was $1.4 billion. As more podcasts come to life and more people listen, brands realize they should be early adopters and advertise in this space.

The podcast advertising industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing digital media channels. The report says that with 72% growth, podcast advertising grew twice as fast as the total internet advertising market, which was only up 35% year over year.


The IAB also discovered increased ad spending by existing and new advertisers. So new categories and industries are entering the podcast ad space and trying it out. This is essential because if we don’t have new companies coming in and saying, “Hey, we should be advertising,” then we fail.

IAB 2021 Podcast Advertising Revenue Study image 2
Source: 2021 IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study

As far as advertising goes, announcer-read ads have become more popular than host-read ads. I believe this will level out as host-read ads have a more profound result, which becomes more valuable. I think that they will eventually command a higher price, and in some instances, they do. So it depends on how advertisers or purchasing the podcast ads. So, I think that is fascinating, and I’m excited to see the continued growth of dynamic ad insertion.

IAB 2021 Podcast Advertising Revenue Study Image 3
Source: 2021 IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study

The other item I’m excited to see is the continued growth of the dynamic ad insertion. 84% of the ads were dynamically served, whereas 16% were embedded ad reads. Historically, that is significant growth to see that 84% are dynamically served.

Source: 2021 IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study

I wanted to touch on the difference between direct response advertisers and brand advertisers. I was surprised that the percentages didn’t shift significantly from around 45%. But, of course, we know that the reach of podcasting is still tiny compared to TV and radio, influencing the desire for massive brand advertisers to try podcasting. But we are making progress.


Jeff Vidler and I discuss this topic in an upcoming podcast episode of The Podcast Advertising Playbook. You can subscribe to get notifications of newly published episodes. 


If you are a marketer and are interested in learning more about how podcast advertising works, download our Marketers Guide To Podcast Advertising below. 

Marketers Guide To Podcast Advertising

You can also reach us at truenativemedia.com.


If you find this content helpful, then you will enjoy this article: What Every Marketer Should Know About Podcast Advertising.

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