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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Spotify and Omnicom Media Group, one of the world's largest global ad agencies, announced Wednesday a deal that will see Omnicom spend $20 million on podcast ads in the second half of this year.

Why it matters: Most podcasts are typically bought and sold on a per-show or per-episode basis. A big agency's commitment to spending lots of money on podcast ads upfront, like they do with television, is a signal that the industry is growing.

  • As a part of the deal, clients of Omnicom's ad-buying agencies — Hearts & Science, OMD and PHD — will have "first-mover access" to exclusive Spotify podcast content.
  • The deal also includes the development of joint research and best practices around podcast ad targeting, performance reporting, and measurement solutions.

The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of several major content deals brokered by Spotify over the past few weeks, which speak to the music streamer's commitment to growing its podcast business.

  • At the same time, Spotify's music and radio rivals are also trying to strike deals to expand their reach into podcasts.
  • SiriusXM is nearing a deal to buy podcast company Stitcher from E.W. Scripps for around $300 million, per the Wall Street Journal. Two weeks ago, it acquired the popular podcasting platform Simplecast — and it already owns podcast ad company AdsWizz, which it acquired through its purchase of Pandora in 2018.
  • Amazon has also shown interest in expanding its podcast offerings and advertising business.

Be smart: Scripps bought Stitcher just four years ago for just $4.5 million, speaking to the enormous growth potential ahead for the industry.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 6, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Biden launches climate change ad in Michigan

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign will begin airing a TV ad in Michigan markets today about climate-related harm and risks to farmers.

Driving the news: The ad running in the Traverse City–Cadillac media market shows a family of fruit farmers discussing the topic.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

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