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Podcasters Woo the Media at Third IAB Podcast Upfront in NYC

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Podcasting will pull in $220 million in revenues this year, up 85 percent from the year before. That stat, courtesy of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, was read by Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), this morning at the start of the IAB's third annual Podcast Upfront.

A gathering for top podcast producers to show their wares to eager marketers, the event provided a snapshot of a medium whose time has come. Nearly a quarter of the U.S. population listens to podcasts at least monthly, Rothenberg said, and the audience is especially young and mobile.

"We feel we're growing a marketplace for the best storytelling on earth," Rothenberg said.

"Its closeness is what touches us and compels us to listen," added Kai Falkenburg, first deputy commissioner at the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment in New York City.

The popularity of podcasting with audiences and advertisers might comes as a surprise to anyone who's heard the same tired Squarespace read over and over, but led by companies like Time Inc., Gimlet, and Public Media Marketing, podcasting is clearly communicating with listeners. Westwood One presented fresh research showing 5 percent of U.S. adults are heavy podcast listeners, 15 percent have listened in the last week, and 24 percent listened in the last month. Those heavy listeners tend to be young, male, and have an above-average income. They're also heavy viewers of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

The most popular podcast genres are news, comedy, and pop culture, Westwood One finds.

While ad revenues are increasing for podcasts, they don't seem to have reached everyone involved. Comedians Jon Gabrus and Lauren Lapkus appeared during the Midroll Media segment to talk up their upcoming podcast "Raised by Television." "Between us we have six podcasts, so we're bringing in about ten grand a year," Gabrus joked.

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