iHeartMedia to acquire Stuff Media as podcasting continues its rise

iHeart Media says it plans to acquire publisher Stuff Media, signaling that, despite some advertiser fears, publishers still see podcasts as a good investment. Stuff Media is a for-profit publisher whose inventory includes the HowStuffWorks podcasting business, and iHeartMedia says that the move will double its usage metrics and make it the top podcast publisher globally and the second overall.

Why you should care

Despite podcasting’s meteoric growth, marketers have expressed some worry about advertising on podcasts, citing lack of measurement and standards as the industry scales. But this type of investment could signal that publishers have no such fears. According to a release announcing the acquisition, IHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio (iHR) division already features more than 20,000 podcasts. Podcasting is going to keep growing and proving itself as valuable advertising platform — with or without third-party measurement verification.

More on the news

  •  iHeart Media said its podcast listening growth was up 73 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
  • And an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey earlier this year found that podcast revenues topped $314 million in 2017, an 86 percent increase from 2016.
  • We also may be closer to a standard. The IAB did release measurement guidelines in late 2017, offering guidance to advertisers on how to measure, but no entity such as the Media Ratings Council (MRC) provides third-party standards at this time.

About The Author

Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.

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