Podcasts Seeing Ad Growth As Mobile App Privacy Fears Grow


As targeted advertising becomes more complex due to Apple’s 2021 data-sharing restrictions, direct-to-consumer brands are increasingly turning to podcasts. According to podcast networks like Vox Media, Acast, and Betches, there has been a significant uptick in spending on programmatic podcast ads.

Acast revealed that spending from DTC brands in the US doubled as of September compared to the previous year, aligning with a 2022 prediction from the Interactive Advertising Bureau on increased programmatic ad buying.

However, the effectiveness of programmatic ads varies among DTC brands. In interviews with Ad Age, companies like Wisp, Orangetheory, and Mint Mobile have reported positive outcomes, while others like ThirdLove, Manscaped, and BetterHelp are less enthusiastic.

Jennifer Dwork, Wisp’s VP of brand marketing, noted the flexibility of programmatic podcast ads compared to traditional host-read formats. Programmatic ads allow for more straightforward adjustments to the creative content based on performance metrics. Kit Gray, president and co-founder of PodcastOne, also pointed out that programmatic ads are generally cheaper, running for about a third to a quarter of the price of host-read ads.

However, what brands gain in flexibility and cost, they may lose in authenticity. Both Joey Kovac, Marketing VP at Manscaped, and Jamie Zimmerman, ThirdLove’s director of paid media marketing, stated a preference for host-read ads, citing their authenticity and engagement levels.

One unique approach was taken by Mint Mobile, which used its founder, actor Ryan Reynolds, to voice its programmatic ads. Aron North, chief marketing officer at Mint Mobile, said that this added a high degree of credibility, positively impacting the ads’ performance.


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