The Biggest Opportunities in Podcast Advertising

May 17, 2022

Go big or go home—when it comes to podcasts we’re here to stay. We’ve made huge advancements, ensuring our offering is the best around for everyone: creators, listeners, and brands. So, big was the only way to do it for the IAB Podcast Upfront 2022.

Go big or go home—when it comes to podcasts we’re here to stay. Over the last year, we’ve made huge advancements, ensuring our offering is the best around for everyone: creators, listeners, and brands. So, big was the only way to do it for the IAB Podcast Upfront 2022. We packed our virtual presentation with all the latest news on what we’ve been up to and what’s coming up for our podcast slate and network. Hint: There’s a lot of big opportunities for brands looking to connect with our audiences.

It’s no big thing if you missed our session. Just check out our video and the highlights below. Oh, and don’t forget to get the New New, our 2022 Podcast Trends Report.

Podcasts are a Big Freaking Deal

For both listeners and the advertisers who want to reach them. Podcasts are surging, with 80M Americans over the age of 12 listening weekly.1 Over half of the U.S. population listens to podcasts.2 That’s why we launched the SXM Podcast Network, connecting brands with consumers via the best podcast content, scalable audience buying solutions, and bespoke show-level integrations.

We are Big on Podcasts

Have you heard? We are the #1 podcast network, reaching one in two3 podcast listeners—that’s 57M4 people! We didn’t make it to number one overnight. Over the last year, we’ve inked exclusive deals and invested in multicultural content to offer the most diverse podcast slate around, including the biggest voices in Hollywood and the most top 50 shows. And our new technologies ensure advertisers can reach their target audiences with laser focus and brand safety.

“Our focus on content and the size of our audience reaffirms our commitment to offering compelling and thought-provoking content that our listeners can't get enough of and that advertisers want to be a part of,” said Lizzie Widhelm, SVP, B2B Marketing & Ad Innovation.

Big Announcements and Major Achievements

For a complete (and much more entertaining) rundown of what we’ve achieved in the podcast space, who we’re in business with, and what’s coming down the pike, watch the video—seriously, you won’t believe the guest stars you’ll see (ahem, Conan O’Brien kicks it off). But, if you simply must read, here are some quick hits.

Exclusive Deals

We’ve signed a ton; here are a few:

Award-Winning Content

Our award shelf isn’t gathering dust.

  • 16 Webby awards

  • 5 Ambies

  • 8 iHeartRadio podcast awards

Investments in Multicultural Audiences

We’re making strides to reach wider audiences, providing brands with bigger and better opportunities to connect with a more diverse groups of consumers. Our first ever Black Podcast Listener Report takes a look at the behaviors and motivators driving black listeners to the space. And new investments in multicultural audiences and creators diversifies our podcast slate, including relationships with Pitaya Entertainment and reVolver Podcast as well as with top talent like Rory and Mal, Carlos King, Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, and many more.

New Targeting Technology

This year we rolled out our new inventory filters that remove content that does not adhere to the GARM/IAB standards for the brand safety floor. Suitability is a sliding scale that is deeply personal for all brands. That’s why our tech goes beyond the binary of safe vs. unsafe.

We employ innovative ad tech to help brands further control their buys. AdsWizz Transcription AI transcribes and intelligently categorizes shows beyond keyword and down to the contextual essence of millions of episodes, ensuring in-depth classification and validity to provide you with the control required to parse for suitability, with 95% accuracy.

Too Big to Pass Up

Our podcast network connects brands with the content, technology, and creative resources they need to reach listeners at scale. 

As Lizzie Widhelm put it, “We’ll continue to innovate around advancing our first-party data capabilities for audience targeting and lead the industry on creating new standards in ad quality measurement for podcasts.”

If you’re new to podcast advertising or have only just dipped your toes in the vast ocean of content and opportunities, you haven’t missed the boat. Brand new listeners are flocking to podcasting every. single. day. There are also new creators on the scene. And they’re ready to take over. They are redefining what it means to be a podcaster, finding new audiences, new niches, and even new formats to take podcasting to the next level.

Ready to dive into podcast advertising? Hit us up! And if you still need a nudge in the right direction, don’t forget to check out The New New, our 2022 Podcast Trends Report.



1. Edison Research Infinite Dial 2021 U.S. Population 12+

2. Podcast Insights / Podcast Statistics February 2021

3. Edison Research, 2021 Infinite Dial 116 million monthly podcast listeners as base

4. Triton Podcast Metrics, Dec-21 and Podwave Internal Metrics, SXM Podcast Network General

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