STUDY: Podcast Advertising Gains Momentum: 62% of Brands and Agencies Interested


In September 2015, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) introduced the inaugural “Podcast Upfront Showcase,” offering advertisers and media buyers a sneak peek into groundbreaking podcast programming from major players in the digital audio landscape. The event aimed to educate and highlight the potential of podcasts as a potent platform for consumer engagement.

Leading up to the first IAB Podcast Upfront in 2015, the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® commissioned Advertiser Perceptions to investigate the attitudes of agencies and brands toward podcast advertising. Over the subsequent nine years, this study has been revisited annually to monitor the consideration and intention of podcast advertising on the buying side.

The most recent study, conducted in June 2023 with input from 302 marketers and media agencies, has unveiled a nine-year high in advertiser and agency interest in podcasting.

Significant enthusiasm is observed at all stages of the podcast ad acquisition process, with spending intentions growing sixfold since 2015.

In 2015, only 10% of brands and media agencies intended to advertise in podcasts within the following six months. Fast-forward to June 2023: the percentage has surged to 58%, marking a remarkable sixfold increase.


  • 77% of media agencies and brands have explored podcast advertising for potential media investment.
  • 62% are contemplating advertising in the next six months.
  • 58% are definitively planning to advertise in the next six months.
  • 58% are already advertising in podcasts.

Most marketers and media agencies, eight out of ten, report discussions about podcast advertising for potential media investments.

Conversations around podcast advertising witnessed an upswing between 2015 and 2019, followed by a dip during the pandemic years, with a resurgence in 2022.

Podcast advertising consideration has reached a nine-year peak, with 62% of brands and agencies expressing a likelihood to consider podcast advertising.

The jump in podcast spending consideration from 2022 to 2023 (from 51% to 62%) is the most significant in several years.

Podcast spending intention has hit a nine-year high, as six out of ten brands and their media agencies express a strong likelihood of advertising in podcasts in the coming six months.

Close to 60% of agencies and advertisers are currently engaged in podcast advertising, reflecting an almost fourfold increase since the inaugural IAB upfront event in 2015.

Reviewing nine years of podcast advertising discussions, consideration, spending intention, and usage, the data provides a concise trend overview of marketer and media agency sentiments in this domain.

Despite many brands dipping their toes in the podcast pool, podcast budgets remain limited. A recent report, the Q2 2023 “Podcast Advertising Benchmark Report” by Magellan, reveals that marketers spending a mere $200,000 monthly on podcasts ranked within the top 500.

Magellan’s findings also indicate that new podcast advertisers tend to adopt a “spray and pray” approach with small budgets. In Q2 2023, the 2,465 new podcast advertisers allocated an average of just $18,000.

However, $18,000 only yields 900,000 impressions, falling short of the scale required for impactful brand growth and sales outcomes. This figure pales compared to the 5 million impressions needed for a comprehensive Upwave brand effect study.

In light of these insights, “Arnie Semsky’s 5% solution” encourages brands to allocate a substantial 5% of their digital budgets to podcasting, signaling a call to take podcasting seriously as a marketing avenue. Source Cumulus Media/Westwood One .. See slides here.


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