IAB US Podcast Revenue Study: Correlations with the Australian Market

On June 19, 2024 podcast

June 2024: Written by Daisy Smith, Automation Director ANZ, Acast

In the midst of economic fluctuations, and a volatile global market, Podcasting continues to thrive in Australia. Our friends in the US, the leading market for Podcast ad spend, have released an annual report – let’s take a look at the highlights and understand how the trends compare to our Aussie market.

After steady double-digit growth since 2015 in the US, with peak growth of 72% from 20 to 21, 2023’s overall challenging ad market was a key driver in slowing the industry-leading growth rates in the (+5%). The Aussie Podcast ad market also saw really strong growth from 20 to 21, and we’ve managed to maintain double digital growth, with a 22% increase from 2022 to 2023 despite tougher economic conditions.

In a slightly slowing, but stable economic environment, the Podcast ad market in Australia is growing fast, both from an advertising revenue perspective and from a listenership perspective. Nine million Aussies now tune into Podcast content every month, according to the latest Infinite Dial report. The increase in Podcast audiences, which we are seeing across generations from GenZ to Boomers, is accelerated by the plethora of great content being created globally, but especially at a local level, and the diversification of content being created – a notable trend being social media influencers flocking to the platform to have a longer form format to share more of their story.

In the US, for the second year in a row, comedy and sports outrank news as diversification of content continues and listeners are tuning into lighter topics, no doubt needing a break from the global news over the last 12 plus months. Whilst Aussies are quick to jump on comedic content, we are equally as invested in quality True Crime and Investigative Journalism content coming out of Australia. Aussies are also turning to podcasts to learn how to build and operate a business, and to better manage their finances, with Business, Entrepreneurial and Finance content thriving amongst all generations of audiences.

So where is the growth being driven from? Who’s spending across the US and Australia?

A significant share of the US Podcast ad revenue comes from the entertainment industry, followed by financial services. The strongest growing categories are CPG and retail, who are leveraging the digital platforms to enable data-driven, direct connections with consumers. Similarly, financial services are one of the key categories fueling the Aussie market, amongst Health, Automotive, Travel and Retail. Whilst spend from FMCG is growing off a lower base, we expect to see this increase in the next 12 months as data and tech advance within Podcasting, helping FMCG with branding and continuing the help retailers personalise audiences by geo location and the like.

Growth projections for the US ad market are strong, with podcasting projected to more than double its 2023 growth rate in 2024. Improvements in measurement, the evolution of buying avenues such as programmatic, along with revenues tied to expansion outside of audio alone, video, social media and live events, are contributing to the optimism.

Similarly, in a more stable ad market, we expect Podcast revenue to continue its double-digit growth for years to come, as agencies and advertisers realise the potential of the channel, and take advantage of the investment gap. Podcasting is now mainstream – the growth in media publishers playing in this space, the growth across audiences and the proof that it works for advertisers who have jumped on board, will continue to push the medium forward. Not to mention, the advances in data and tech that break down barriers to entry including more efficient ways of buying with many publishers and agencies leaning heavily into programmatic audio, with collaboration from the industry to further measurement and targeting capabilities.

In what feels like a tough start to the year, Podcasting remains in a strong position in Australia, with steady growth despite a slower than normal market. Podcasting remains one of the fastest growing media channels, and Podcasting’s share of total audio spend continues to increase. Given the growth in Australia is outpacing the leading market for Podcast ad revenue, the future remains bright, particularly as the market picks up in the latter half of 2024.

Related resources:

U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Study: 2023 Revenue & 2024-2026 Growth Projections

IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Reports