IAB announces virtual Podcast Upfront, expands format and presenter list

In a dramatic adjustment to COVID-era realities, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has planned a different sort of Podcast Upfront than in past years. First, it will be online-only. Second, it will transpire over three days rather than one day. Third, there will be more than 20 presenters, instead of 8-10 as in the past.

Let’s start with the dates: They are September 9-11.

Here are the presenters: include Acast featuring BBC, American Public Media, ART19, Authentic, Barstool Sports, Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, both part of Entercom’s podcast network, ESPN, Forever Dog Productions, iHeartRadio, Meredith Corporation, Midroll Media, NPR, PMM, Pushkin Industries, Sony Music Entertainment, Vox Media Podcast Network, WarnerMedia Podcast Network, Westwood One, and Wondery.

There will also be an “insight presentation” from ad-tech company AdsWizz, which did something similar last year in a day-after information session.

Further, the IAB is offering students the chance to learn from digital media leaders by attending Podcast Upfront 2020 through IAB Access, a two-part program giving free access to industry events to students, as well as access to IAB’s online training programs to transitioning professionals affected by the pandemic. Students can also request a pass to attend Podcast Upfront at www.iab.com/podcastupfront.

“Podcasts are experiencing explosive growth and the ad dollars are following, with U.S. podcast advertising revenue nearing $1 billion,” said Zoe Soon, VP, Consumer Experience Center of Excellence, IAB. “Podcasts have come of age and are now an independent line item on many media buyers’ budgets. In the past, podcast consumption had a strong correlation with consumer travel and commuting periods, however COVID-19 has done very little to slow down the market’s exponential growth. Podcasts have proven to be a resilient and influential medium.”

The Podcast Upfront web page is HERE.


Brad Hill