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Podcast Advertising Perspective, circa October 4, 2018

How should you think about the spread of podcast advertising?

Shout-out to the beard of the venture capitalist Hunter Walk, who pulled me into this Twitter thread that I’m still thinking about:

https://twitter.com/hunterwalk/status/1046536867372388352

As I mentioned later that thread, that breakdown sounds about right to me.

Also noteworthy was the contribution from Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw, who typically writes about podcasting in the context of Spotify, providing perspective on how small podcast advertising remains:

https://twitter.com/Lucas_Shaw/status/1046538310057779200

That big picture is typically the reason why I usually flinch when someone talks about the podcast industry exploding or whatever. I mean, yes, it’s definitely exploding within the context of itself — as the IAB press release surrounding its revenue report this year noted, the advertising sector grew 86% year-over-year — but when you just take a step back, you’d get this huge sense of scale of how much mountain still needs to be climbed.

But perhaps the thing that Shaw’s tweet really made me think is the notion of monopolies. There is a reason, I think, that desktop advertising and online video advertising grew that big that quickly: in each case, I’d argue, a single or a small group of giants ended up taking quick control over the commerce and narratives of those sectors. There’s a trade-off to the quick growth of an industry or community; there’s a reason why top-down regimes can do things at the scale of countries really, really quickly.