More and more people worldwide enjoy listening to podcasts. At the same time advertisers have started adding podcasts to their media mix, hence podcast market revenues have increased, especially in the US.

Europe is catching up in terms of podcast productions: a growing number of media companies are creating podcasts in-house since they have the relevant content to do so. Moreover, they distribute them via their own audio platforms, for example via AUDIO NOW in Germany and France.

Have you listened to a podcast this week? If the answer is yes, you are far from alone. Since the term “podcast” first appeared in 2004, the number of users has grown substantially.

Podcasts are popular throughout the world – especially in Spain, Ireland, Scandinavia and the US (Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2020). According to a recent BITKOM study,  33% of all Germans listen to podcasts occasionally, 10 million listen in regularly. As the number of people working from home rises again, there might be a second push this year.

The growing popularity of podcasts has increased their attractiveness as an advertising medium. According to a 2020 study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC, the total US podcast market revenue was USD 708.1 million in 2019 – with “News” being the leading genre for advertisers. Despite Corona, IAB/PwC expect a growth rate of 14.7% – nearing the one billion dollar mark. In Europe, ad spends are significantly lower, but are expected to increase massively within the next couple of years.


Whereas in the early days of podcasts, listeners were more typically younger tech-savvy men, the podcast audience today is more diverse. One reason for this are the various topics addressed in podcasts these days – from news to comedy, sports, tech and many more – attracting a much broader audience.

Spotify and itunes are popular platforms to access podcasts, however the market is still very diverse throughout Europe. As media companies are creating more podcasts themselves, additional apps are bundling portfolios in their respective non-English languages. In Germany, the Ad Alliance (which Gruner and Jahr’s portfolio belongs to) has bundled all of its 70+ podcasts into an app called AUDIO NOW, the same app that French media companies use for their 100+ podcast portfolio produced by publishing houses like Prisma Media, newspapers like LE FIGARO and various radio stations.


Findings of The Guardian's Podcast Insights 2020 suggest that podcast audiences listen much more carefully, also to the ads. Different to radio usage, where listeners “may drift in and out” while the radio is switched on, podcast listeners choose a specific genre, podcast host and the time when to listen to it – for example via headphones while commuting.

Not only do they listen to the ads more closely – THE GUARDIAN podcasts listeners were also found more likely to react to an advert e.g. searching for the product online or making a recommendation to another person.

Podcasts deliver a tailor-made, authentic environment with an attentive audience. As the number of listeners is increasing worldwide, this offers a great opportunity for brands.

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