Podvertising to grow despite few listeners

In-podcast advertising is set to grow to over five times its current value by 2011, according to a new report.

An eMarketer study forecast US advertising spend targeted toward podcasts will reach $240m by 2008 and $400m by 2011. That is despite pessimism over the popularity of podcasts amongst audiences.

Report author James Belcher said:

“Despite an incessant buzz about the medium, regular podcast users are still rare. As such, podcasting is a niche marketing channel; it may be the right niche for some marketers, but it’s still a niche.

“Podcast sponsorship uses the medium’s strengths: self-selected subscribers, host endorsements and low-waste ad impressions.

“Yet the time and effort required to develop an effective sponsorship will keep podcasting from cannibalizing ad dollars in other channels anytime soon.”

Podcast advertising previously grew from just $3.1m in 2005 to $80m in 2006. Previous research on media consumption habits shows podcast subscriptions have not been widely taken up by users, although many have downloaded individual episodes designed to be subscribed as part of a series.