YouTube to introduce longer audio ads to target podcast listeners

Expanded offering will also include genre-based targeting

YouTube will be implementing 30-second audio advertisements on the platform to allow marketers to reach podcast listeners on the platform, the company has announced at Advertising Week New York.

“Right now folks really want to know how they can be as effective as possible with the money they're going to spend, because they really want to get the ROI,” said Debbie Weinstein, YouTube’s vice president of ads in an interview with Campaign Asia.  “For some, this is not the time for experimenting with things that have never been done before.”

The audio ads will now be upgraded to 30-second slots, instead of the 15-second ads it previously offered as part of a beta release in 2020. Advertisers in the U.S. will also be able to target their campaigns based on specific podcast genres. 

This initiative is part of YouTube’s growing expansion into the podcasting industry. In late July, YouTube launched a dedicated page for podcasting that features trending shows and popular podcast channels. The page is currently exclusive to the U.S, and it is currently unclear whether it will be made available in the U.K. 

It has become popular amongst podcast listeners, as a recent survey by The Morning Consult revealed that for a third of adults, YouTube is their preferred platform for listening to podcasts. 

It is especially popular amongst younger generations that are more likely to watch long-form YouTube videos, and can spend an average of 40 minutes per day on YouTube’s mobile app, according to Ofcom’s 2022 Media Nations report.