NEW YORK: Ahead of next month’s IAB Podcast Upfront, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has issued a first-time buyer’s guide to podcast advertising.

According to the IAB Podcast Playbook, almost one quarter of Americans over the of 12 listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.

And the average number of podcasts listened to continues to increase each year, with fans subscribing to an average six podcasts per week.

“The mainstreaming of podcasts follows a broader pattern of smartphone use and connected mobile lifestyles where audio plays an increasingly central role,” it says, citing data from Podcast Analytics that showed 85% of listening to podcasts takes place on a mobile device – often while doing chores at home or while commuting.

The IAB’s own research, meanwhile, has forecast that podcast advertising revenues will top $220m in 2017, an 85% increase on last year.

The Playbook highlights podcasting’s value proposition to advertisers, including a young listenership – 44% are under 34 years old – that is educated, wealthy, and likely to be business influencers.

Podcasting also offers a “lean forward” listening experience that results in strong responsiveness, with two-thirds of listeners citing high brand recall and nearly the same number saying that podcast ads inspired a purchase.

Further, podcast advertising is versatile, offering both brand and response-driven marketing strategies and a wide variety of ad options, the Playbook notes – from native and host-read ads to dynamically inserted, standardized ad units

“In an industry where explosive growth and dramatic change have been endemic, podcasts are having a standout moment,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB.

“We want to educate marketers on the unique and valuable benefits of advertising on the medium.”

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by WARC staff