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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.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

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