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Are B2B Podcasts Poised for a Breakthrough?

While many business-to-business (B2B) firms are still using traditional mechanisms to buy their digital media, some are increasingly investing in more novel ad channels, like podcasts.

For NPR—the most popular podcast publisher in the US according to Podtrac—B2B brands are one of its biggest advertiser categories. "Many of our current direct-response advertisers are B2B brands like Squarespace or ZipRecruiter and other young companies looking to establish themselves directly with consumers," said Gina Garrubbo, president and CEO of National Public Media.

B2Bs are experimenting with the format at a time when podcast audiences are growing. eMarketer forecasts that by 2022, 83.8 million people in the US will listen to at least one podcast per month, up from 73.0 million people in 2018.

To gain some clarity about where B2B podcasting is headed, eMarketer spoke with several B2B insiders for our upcoming “B2B Digital Ad Spending Forecast,” report.

Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, Content Marketing Institute: More B2B organizations are launching and experimenting with podcasts. There's still a low success rate with them, but the reasons for that are consistency and the challenge of differentiating yourself. Measurement and lack of data in some of the platforms, whether it be iTunes or others, is also a challenge.

Rion Swartz, Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Management, LegalZoom: We've lumped podcasts into our radio budget. In my mind, it's an evolution of terrestrial radio. In some cases, it's even better than terrestrial radio as far as an advertising vehicle.

Mihir Nanavati, Vice President of Product, RollWorks, a Division of AdRoll Group: We're still collecting data points and we haven't seen enough data that signifies a very heavy focus on podcasts. There might be certain industries or use cases that have more relevance for podcasts than other alternatives, but it's not something that we have heavily invested in. We're just keeping an eye on it right now.

eMarketer PRO subscribers can read the full B2B Digital Ad Spending Forecast report when it comes out later this month.

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