February 2021: Top spenders, movers and shakers in podcast advertising
In addition to our monthly post, we review the previous month's creative, trends, and spend in our market update webinar. Register to join us!
Top 15 spenders
Top 15 movers & shakers
If you’re not familiar, Feather is one of several new millennial-targeted furniture rental services available in 6 major cities in the US. Feather raised $60M in financing last year and have invested nearly $400k in podcast ads so far this year with a high concentration in the News category. Feather ads appeared on many popular NPR podcasts including NPR News Now and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me. Magellan AI has previously detected that NPR shows use dynamic insertion so Feather may be taking advantage of NPR’s audience targeting capabilities to zero in on the markets where their services are available.
Feather employs a direct response approach and doesn’t face much competition in their category. Magellan AI has not detected ads from any of their major competitors except for a single ad targeting workplaces from CORT in early 2020.
Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
Georgetown’s recent podcast ads promote their flexible online offerings for continuing education and Master’s degree programs. They’ve focused their efforts on all NPR shows and, similar to Feather, are likely taking advantage of NPR’s audience targeting across their network of shows.
Georgetown employees a direct response approach inviting interested future students to visit scs.georgetown.edu. The competitive landscape in higher education has some evidence of seasonality around application times and the start of the school year. Among similar caliber competition, Penn State World Campus ran ads in fall of 2020 across nearly 200 shows but has not been detected since. Capella University, a for-profit online-only university, advertised their Bachelor’s degree programs in August and September of 2020 but was also detected in January and February of this year.
Listen to their pre-recorded ad on Planet Money.
Paramount+ made their big debut with several TV ads aired during the Super Bowl and started testing the waters of podcast advertising around the same time. Magellan AI detected Paramount+ on 19 shows in February primarily in sports shows. Using a branding strategy, they are taking advantage of their parent company, CBS Network, to place ads on CBS sports shows. These targeted placements promote Paramount+’s lineup of live sports like this placement on Eye On College Basketball. Beyond the sports shows, Paramount+ has also had a few ads appealing to families and those who enjoy comedy like this host-read ad promoting the Spongebob Movie on a comedy show.
Streaming services have made our top movers & shakers lists before, Hulu in September and SlingTV in October. Quibi (RIP) also invested heavily spending $430k in their launch month last year. Peacock topped the charts spending $760k in April 2020, also their launch month.
Magellan AI analyzes podcast advertising data from the top 3,000 podcasts in the U.S., as ranked by Apple Podcasts. For parts of this analysis, we relied on Magellan AI’s proprietary model to estimate advertising spend. Our model incorporates a number of factors, including:
- The number of ads and variation in ad load detected for a given episode
- Number of downloads for each episode
- CPM, as reported on select media kits and estimated based on popularity
From time to time we adjust our model based on new inputs and user input.
Magellan AI creates tools that help marketers at brands like SimpliSafe, Wix, and ThredUP spend intelligently on podcast advertising. Podcast publishers like WNYC and Audioboom use Magellan to track advertisers spending money in the podcast space. Learn More.
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