U.S. podcasting rivals Stitcher and Wondery are teaming up to help U.K. advertisers sell to their expanding podcast audience.
The ad networks unveiled a podcast platform, Podfront UK, which allows U.K. advertisers to buy premium inventory for Wondery and Stitcher’s podcasts, which include “WTF with Marc Maron,” “Freakonomics” and “Dirty John.” The company will also expand opportunities for U.K. brands to advertise to the U.S. market and other European countries.
Podfront claims to be the first example of top U.S.-based networks making a significant move into the European podcast market. It joins three major players in the U.K.: Dax, Acast and Audioboom.
- Last month, Wondery raised $10 million and appointed its first head of international, Declan Moore.
- Weekly U.K. podcast listeners have nearly doubled to 5.9 million in 2018, from 3.2 million in 2013, with the biggest increase in the 15- to 24-year-old demographic, according to the U.K.’s telecommunications regulatory body, Ofcom.
- Ad spend in the United Kingdom is a fraction of the U.S., Digiday reported, citing industry sources and market research. However, a report from Dax found that 75% of U.K. agencies expect to increase their podcast ad spend in 2019.
- The market is largely dominated by the U.K.’s public service broadcaster, British Broadcasting Corporation, which lists about 720 series on its website. Of the top 10 podcasts on Apple Podcasts this week, three are produced by the BBC. The top podcast, however, is Wondery’s “The Shrink Next Door.”
- Karma Take: Though still in its infancy compared with the U.S. market, the U.K. podcast sector is gaining listeners, and hungry U.S. companies are eyeing that growing base.