Last week, the Ad Results Media team traveled to NYC for the IAB Upfront Conference. We enjoyed reconnecting in person, attending panels, and taking it all in. And there was plenty to take in! We heard from heavy hitters from every corner of the industry, and got a sneak peek at some exciting innovations.

Check out some of our biggest takeaways from the event below:

Audio is a Powerhouse

For the second year in a row, Podcasting is the #1 growth channel across digital channels, with Digital Audio right behind at #2. This tells us that audio as a medium isn’t slowing down – it’s growing. And as the industry matures, innovation continues to push us forward and upward.

Programmatic Soars

With an increasing demand for more advanced audience targeting, programmatic buying is becoming more and more common. As a relatively new method of buying in the audio space, the coming years will call for a streamlining and simplification of the process.

Expanding Fandom Beyond the Podcast

Branded content and cross-channel promotions are the future. Seamlessly integrating branded content into podcasts and across all platforms was a hot topic at IAB Upfront. From video and cross-channel promotion to paid live events, the evolution of podcasts is in the hands of listeners and advertisers will benefit from showing up where the fandom does.

Audio Goes Hybrid

Podcast newcomers are skewing younger and want to listen and engage with video. Listener engagement on YouTube, Livestreams, and Social Media is significantly on the rise. Which is why 75% of companies believe video will become the default for podcasting recording within 5 years or less.

Ad Spend is Top Heavy

A whopping 44% of ad spend goes to the top 500 shows – but that reach is limited to about 12% of the addressable podcast audience. Advertisers could be missing out by ignoring smaller shows with loyal, engaged listeners (about 80% of whom listen to at least half of the ads on their favorite shows).

New Collab Brings Brand Integrity to Podcasts

Anyone that buys in podcasts knows that show suitability is essential. But up until now, the screening process has been unwieldy. That’s why ArtsAI & Barometer are collaborating on a faster and more proactive brand integrity screening. Through tech innovation, stakeholders can grow advertising and build trust faster and more responsibly.

Key takeaways

  • Podcasting remains the fastest-growing medium of all media.
  • Branded content and cross-channel promotions are the future.
  • Podcast newcomers are skewing younger and want to listen and engage with video.
  • Diverse content is accelerating.
  • Revenue is driven by content, community, and seamlessly integrating brands across all platforms.

Despite industry headwinds over the past year, podcasting as a medium continues to grow, and innovation abounds. From new frontiers in data capturing to the power of branded content, the IAB Upfront Conference showed us that podcasts are truly just getting started.