US podcast ad revenue hit record numbers in 2017

In 2017, the podcast industry hit a record high in earned ad revenue, and experts think it’s only gonna keep growing.


June 12, 2018

Podcasts are pretty much everything these days — whether it’s Marc Maron’s latest WTF, or someone finally getting around to the first season of Serial, the talkies are back and they’re taking the world by storm.

What they haven’t been taking, historically, is big ad dollars.

But 2017 is out to set the record straight: Last year, the US podcasting industry’s ad-revenue was up a full 86% from 2016 to hit $314m.

Whoa, wait. $314m… for the entire industry?

It’s a glass half empty/half full kinda thing

While $314m is a big increase for the industry, it’s still peanuts compared to TV’s $68.5B — even newspapers made $16.6B in revenue last year.

It’s simple: People may love podcasts, but advertisers don’t (yet) and they aren’t willing to put up the dough.

Which is why we choose “half full”

Recode points out there’s no effective way for advertisers to automate their ad buys across a network of podcasts, which is part of what makes podcasts so awesome as a listener. 

See, big reason that people love podcasts so much is because advertisers can’t gouge a single Geico ad into the eyes of millions like they can during an episode of The Big Bang Theory. And forget about amoebic targeted ads — 67% of podcast ads are read by the host — which is why people don’t have to hear ads every five seconds while they learn HowStuffWorks.

Plus, analysts expects the industry to hit $659m in ad revenue by 2020, meaning there’s big room for growth in this insanely popular, yet, still fledgling industry.

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.