Podcasts are no longer “the future,” but generating consistent advertising revenue through podcasts hasn’t caught up. A new sales company is looking to change that.
Crossover Media Group Sales is a startup of veteran media sales executives targeting podcasts and over-the-top platforms to offer advertising sales representation. The company’s three managing members are Scott Calka, Sue Freund and Ron Hartenbaum. Calka has worked in advertising sales for Madison Square Garden, Comcast Spotlight, Fox Sports and DirecTV. Freund spent a decade as VP of sales for the Western Region of SiriusXM and Hartenbaum’s credentials include serving as the VP of Sales for Westwood One.
“There is a strong and surprisingly un-tapped market for advertising to support personalities and brands seeking to maximize revenue potential across all the platforms available to them,” Freund said. “If you have an audio presence, we can be your video partner. If you have a video brand but have had difficulty breaking through the clutter, we can help. We understand cross-platform branding, promotion and monetization, and how to serve the needs of content providers, media buyers and brands alike.”
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, $314 million was invested in podcast ads in the United States last year. That number is an 86% jump from the previous year, but still a small fraction when compared to the advertising dollars collected by mainstream media platforms.
Advertisers spent $68.5 billion on TV ads, $22.8 billion on internet search ads, $39.9 billion on Facebook and $17.6 billion for radio. The IAB predicts podcast ad revenue will jump by another 110% over the next three years, bringing the amount to $659 million. Considering the amount of hours consumers spend listening to digital audio, even at $659 million, the medium’s advertising revenue is miniscule.
Advertisers have hesitated to invest in podcasts for a number of reasons. Their goal is to create an ad that will be placed in front of a large audience, but podcasts are consumed through a variety of devices at different times, making it difficult to track listenership.
Part of the reason podcasts gained popularity is because advertisers weren’t spending money on the platform. A 15 or 30 minute podcast offers 15 or 30 minutes worth of content whereas 60 minutes of a terrestrial radio show might contain commercials for 25% of the hour.
Podcasting today is a credible medium with popular shows that deserve advertising investments. Crossover Media Group Sales will work to bypass advertisers’ hesitations and monetize the platform effectively.