4 out of 10 advertisers on the IAB’s Direct Brands To Watch have tested podcast ads

We compared the IAB’s Direct Brands To Watch list against Magellan’s database of more than 4,000 brands that have advertised on podcasts. Get the free report on the 109 brands running podcast ads.

The IAB recently released their annual list of the 250 Direct Brands To Watch. In this post and the full report, we analyze how the brands on the list are using podcasts to reach customers.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be publishing a deep-dive on each category of brands from the IAB’s list. To kick us off, this post looks at the DTC brands advertising on podcasts as a whole.

What is a direct-to-consumer brand?

First, let’s review how the IAB put together this list. If you’re familiar with the direct-to-consumer space, feel free to jump below.

Direct-to-consumer brands are different: they’re centered around individual consumer relationships and “maniacally focused” on consumer experience. The IAB provides more detail on characteristics of DTC brands here. You can also check out this treatise on digitally-native vertical brands from Andy Dunn, founder of Bonobos.

The IAB used data from Dunn & Bradstreet, Rival IQ and CB Insights to identify and rank brands in each category. Criteria included funding, social media metrics, and social velocity, among others. The complete methodology can be found on slides 6 and 7.

56% of the direct-to-consumer brands featured on the IAB list have not tried podcast advertising as part of their marketing strategy.

How many brands on the DTC 250 list have tested podcast advertising?

We compared the list to our database of over 4,000 advertisers and picked up 109 of these brands on podcasts dating back to 2017. 56% of these brands on the IAB list have not tried podcast advertising as part of their marketing strategy.

Personal Care

15 out of 18 brands in the “Personal Care” category have advertised on podcasts. However, “Personal Care” brands sell a diverse set of products — ranging from Quip (toothbrushes) to Thinx (underwear) to Hims (hair loss/sexual wellness).

Three brands selling razors made the list: Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s Razors and Billie. Both Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s Razors were first picked up in August of 2017, but no ads have been picked up for Billie.

Home & Appliance

13 out of 18 brands in “Home & Appliance” category have advertised on podcasts. This category includes a variety of products, ranging from Casper (mattresses) to Brooklinen (bedding) to Dormify (college furniture) to Brandless (homegoods).

Bedding and homegoods companies all incorporated podcasts into their marketing strategy. Airlifting, Dormify, Snowe, Touch of Modern and Ugallery had not advertised on podcasts as of mid-February 2019.

Click here to get the full report on these 109 brands for free.

Our analysis answers questions like:

  • How many DTC brands are active on podcasts in 2019
  • What kinds of podcasts are DTC brands advertising on?
  • What kind of spots are DTC brands buying?
  • How many of these brands are buying two spots on the same episode?
  • How far into the top 2,000 do these advertisers go?
  • What types of call-to-action (CTA) are these brands using?
Magellan AI creates tools that help marketers at brands like SimpliSafe and Grove spend intelligently on podcast advertising. Podcast publishers like WNYC and Gimlet Media use Magellan to track advertisers spending money in the podcast space.
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