Podcast’s Strength in Contextual Advertising

Going into 2024, podcasts will continue to grow in the U.S. and around the globe. Podcasting has seen phenomenal growth over the past few years, with more than 2 million podcasts available as per the latest podcast stats. If you are an avid podcast listener, you have been exposed to a podcast ad in the past three months while listening to your favorite show.  

With 8 in 10 media agencies already buying audio ads, the 2023 Nielsen Annual Marketing Report states that up to 54% of global marketers have plans to increase their podcast audio advertising spend in 2024. The IAB predicts that podcast advertising spend will be approximately $4 billion by 2025 and by 2026, approximately 20% of all programmatic audio spend is expected to be on podcasts. 

At Triton Digital, the world’s largest programmatic audio marketplace, we have seen an increase of up to 40% in podcast ad impressions delivered in Q3 2023 versus the same period in 2022. Spending during the same period last year was up by almost 60%. 

Contextually targeted ads aim to reach the right audience effectively based on their environment and lifestyle. A recent study by Mindshare shows audio ads drive higher levels of engagement and brand recall than other ad formats, highlighting up to a 12% increase in emotional intensity.  

Here are 5 reasons why podcast advertising offers a powerful format for contextual targeting: 

  1. Podcasts are highly mobile At 94%, Triton Podcast Metrics Demos+ found that mobile is, by a wide margin, the most popular device for listening to podcasts. This signals the audience's intent to engage with their favorite content in the background as they move throughout their day.
  2. Identity and privacy safe  As AdTech faces challenges in identity resolution and data collection, contextual advertising remains resilient and will only be minimally impacted. Context-based messaging is here to stay and is already working, so marketers are adapting this methodology to new facets and formats, including podcasts. 
  3. Creativity can shine – Audio ads provide a sonic opportunity for branding and awareness. Creative can be dynamically assembled based on program genre, listening environment, and time. This can also include additional data signals such as location, weather, and temperature. Podcast ads can amplify contextual strategies to capture people in the moment. There are few other formats compared to podcasts that offer this cost efficiency while ROI is maximized to drive impact.
  4. Podcast consumption is growing – With the increase in podcasts being produced and audience growth, the scale is now sizeable for effective advertising. Triton Digital reports that listeners are consuming up to 3 podcasts per week, typically on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These are also purchasing decision days for many industry verticals.
  5. Programmatic automation advantage – With more tools, transparency, and technology for creative production, media buying, and advertising reporting, buyer confidence continues to be boosted – moving audio from an emerging format to a mainstream requirement for any campaign. Most DSPs now support audio ads, and execution continues to be enhanced yearly. This gives programmatic buyers the chance to bid on well-placed ads that, in turn, create affinity between the listener and the brand.

In a recent study by Inside Radio, 74% of listeners said they incorporated audio into their daily rituals and 40% planned their activities around audio content. The result was listeners had a 12% increase in feeling connected to the brand when the ad was tied into their daily rituals. Here are the most popular formats by region in Q3 2023: 

Global Region 

Top 5 Podcast formats 


Sports, News, Politics, Comedy, Crime 


News, Politics, Sports, Crime, Healthy Living 


Sports, News, Politics, Movies, Comedy 


News, Politics, Hobbies, Comedy, Crime 


Mental Health, Education, Comedy, News, Politics 

Source: Triton Digital, 2023 Q3 

Based on these top formats, we have a list of contextual targeting genres for matching the podcast format with audience interests and segments. View our guide here 

If you want to learn more about launching a programmatic audio advertising campaign, contact the Triton Market Operations team at marketops@tritondigital.com today!  

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