IAB and Podcast broadcasters to test advertiser appetite for digital audio

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) will be looking to gauge the interest of advertisers and agencies in podcast programming when it hosts its first event later this year to showcase the medium's advertising potential.

The event will take on the standard industry “upfront” format whereby attendees from the advertising world will sit through 20 presentations from the top podcast networks. Presenters include AdLarge Media, WNYC and Panoply, all of which will “share upcoming content releases and opportunities for advertisers to effectively align their brands,” according to the IAB.

That podcast networks are even reaching out to advertisers in this way is indicative of a medium on the upturn. Some 46 million people in the US had listened to a podcast in January, which was around 17 per cent of Americans over the age of 12, up from 15 per cent in 2014, according to Edison Research.

“More and more advertisers are incorporating audio programming into their digital marketing strategies, given the growing popularity of podcasts and their highly-engaged audiences,” said Carl Kalapesi, vice president of industry initiatives at the IAB. “The individual and intimate listening experience enjoyed by podcast listeners provides a unique vehicle for brands to connect with consumers. IAB is excited to bring so many digital audio leaders together to discuss their upcoming programming and the wide array of advertising opportunities available through podcasts.”

The record-breaking “Serial” series has been pivotal to this rise, while the MailChamp ads that ran on them showed the medium’s potential to brands. There is still much to do in creating an ad model around for podcasts to win over more marketers though the wealth of coverage the channel is currently getting suggests they are starting to view it as more serious contender for their ad budgets.

The one-day event takes place next month (10 September) in New York.

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