The Podcast Phenomenon: U.S. Podcast Ad Spend Has Reached $590M, In 2021

podcast phenomenon

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When was the last time you listened to a podcast? If you are in the US and answered within a week, you belong to the 24% of the population (68 million) who listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, according to the Podcast Insights. Besides that, researchers have shown that in 2021, podcast advertisements have reached nearly $590 million, and the expectations are to keep increasing in the next couple of years. 

Facing this scenario, here is a great opportunity for content creators to enjoy this unique moment and take advantage of this media format to put their brands out there and stand out with this new content strategy. Podcasts can be revolutionary to increase brand awareness and engagement and it is time for marketers to pay attention to this trend.

Podcast background

Audio formats are not brand new, just like blog posts. In the ’80s people used to record their experiences in audio format to share with other people and at that time they didn’t use many resources, so there was no editing and not a lot of investment in terms of equipment. 

With the iPod launching people started to transfer their audio blogs and this became more popular. However, the name was still unpopular and so they chose to combine “broadcasting” and iPod, and the “podcasting” term was created for the first time in 2004. 

Over time podcasts have become popular, but it was only in 2019 that the boom really happened: around 155 million people were including this new format of content into their lifestyles. 

It’s curious that, since then, Apple and Spotify started to really compete for #1 status, but even though Apple was first, Spotify gained a lot of popularity and is now leading this market.

Source: Statista

Why podcasts?

At the beginning of the content era we had only a handful of formats available, and written content was the main one. But now, with social platforms, we have much more to explore. Video became more popular than ever and now the time of podcasts has arrived.

As the world is evolving people are becoming busier and busier. We’ve never faced the reality that we have so much to do. It even seems that 24 hours are not enough anymore, and podcasts make it possible to multitask. 

The exciting thing is that they are extremely versatile and are not only a form of entertainment but also a channel to teach, connect and inspire other people. For marketers, they are a great way to build brand awareness and engagement.

Nowadays we have over 700,000 active podcasts and 29 million podcast episodes available. There are podcasts for literally everyone and for every subject you’re interested in: tech, pop culture, politics, opinions, comedy, and so much more.

Marketing scenario

The early adopters already know that millions of people are listening to podcasts every single day, and they didn’t miss the chance to transform that into opportunities for their brands. According to Insider Intelligence, a projection was created for 2022 of 424.2 million podcast listeners worldwide and they expect to see US podcast ad spending to increase by 30.2% YoY in 2022, surpassing the $2 billion mark.

All those numbers mean one thing: if you’re not thinking about podcasts for your brand you should start doing so.

If we try to understand those numbers, we gotta think about humans first. People just love to listen and truly connect with the content creator. Podcasts allow the public to really engage and feel, and nothing is better for a marketer than someone that is actively listening and paying attention.

Podcasts are well targeted to their audience, and are able to connect them. Researches show that 80% of listeners finish almost the entire podcast episode, which is a bonus for marketers that are spending lots of money on ads.

In this graph we can see that a couple of industries are already jumping into this new format, so why are you waiting to start a new strategy in your company?

Creating a podcast

I already mentioned here how podcasts are becoming so popular, but if you’re still not sure why you should start a podcast strategy for your company, here are 10 more reasons to convince you:

  1. You can create Long-Form content.
  2. There are minimal Start-Up costs.
  3. You can repurpose your content.
  4. You can target your audience directly.
  5. There is less competition compared to other media forms (until now).
  6. Podcasts can reach potential new customers, increasing traffic generation and improving conversions.
  7. Podcasts are personal, because of that, they’re highly engaging.
  8. Podcasts can increase brand awareness between 24% to 79%.
  9. It’s more interactive than other types of content.
  10. Podcasts build authority and allow you to become an Industry Influencer/Thought Leader.

No matter where your company is based, it is time to look into this new strategy and explore its benefits.

To start you need to plan, create a name, format, duration, and concept. After that, you need to choose the equipment and software and you’re ready to record your first podcast. Remember to always plan your topics based on the personas you’re trying to target and create real, personal connections. That is what will make the difference.

Now that you have learned more about the podcast industry and how you can benefit, if you think your company is ready for the next step, don’t miss the wave!

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