“Big opportunities”: ARN’s iHeart blows out four birthday candles

iHeart podcast talent

Corey Layton: “Australia is set to continue leading podcast growth.”

This week, ARN’s iHeart celebrated its fourth birthday. Since launching on February 25th 2020, the network has been named top Podcast Publisher for 45 consecutive rankers, and forged partnerships with publishers including Clubby Sports, Channel 7, TED, The New York Times, Audioboom, and Sony.

Reflecting on the last four years, Corey Layton, ARN head of digital audio told Mediaweek, “When we launched, core to our strategy was leading a step change that overcame several shortcomings and gaps felt by creators, advertisers, and audiences alike. 

“From the day we launched to now, we have retained our position as Australia’s #1 Podcast Publisher for 45 consecutive rankers. It’s a position we don’t take for granted and one we’re privileged to hold.”

Layton says that the iHeart team are “incredibly fortunate to work with many of the best creators in the country,” with podcasting continuing to be a major platform for advertisers.

arn Corey Layton

Corey Layton

“According to the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report, investment into podcast advertising increased 21.7% in 2023, outpacing every other digital ad format,” Layton said.

“Further ahead is listening, which saw a 33% YoY increase in January, with over 90m downloads last month. With enhanced podcast audience profiling, effectiveness, and attribution all in place, podcasts are no longer an optional medium.”

For the podcast hosts themselves, this investment shows in the way that the iHeart team work with brands.

Zara Seidler, co-founder of The Daily Aus and host of the publication’s daily news podcast tells Mediaweek It’s been really heartening to work with partners that believe in our vision, and believe in providing helpful and educational advice to young people. 

“We’ve been able to work with government departments to communicate important health messaging around cervical cancer screening, for example. It’s those sorts of partnerships that we really enjoyed doing, and our audience, certainly from the feedback, has enjoyed listening to.”

It’s a message backed up by author, presenter, and BlakCast network advisor Jamila Rizvi

“The podcasting world is just exploding, and I think the potential of the podcasting world is there too for brands,” Rizvi said.

There are some really big opportunities for brands to align themselves with podcasts that not only reach passionate and engaged audiences, but also podcasts that have something to say and that have a point of view. Find and Tell, the new iHeart and BlakCast podcast that I’m going to be involved with is exactly that.”

Zara Seidler and Jamila Rizvi

Zara Seidler and Jamila Rizvi

Working with the iHeart team as on-air talent, both Seidler and Rizvi say their involvement with ARN has been “a pleasure.”

“I think that sometimes you forget that they also have a bajillion other podcasts to look after,” laughs Seidler. 

“I’d say that that’s a testament to the team, that they can treat us as if we are their only podcast. Then we rock up at a lunch with some of the biggest podcasts in the country, and they’re still making each podcast feel really seen and listened to, and that they have their ear at any point.”

Something that’s really close to my heart is making sure that more diverse voices, including First Nations voices, are part of the Australian media landscape, both in front of cameras and microphones and also behind the scenes,” Rizvi adds.

“It’s been really exciting for an organisation like iHeart to take an interest in making sure that they’re platforming more diverse voices, and actually putting their money where their mouth is and investing in a network like BlakCast.”

With over 9.2 million monthly podcast listeners, what Layton calls a “remarkable surge in consumption” shows no signs of slowing down in 2024. 

“From thought-provoking discussions to laugh-out-loud moments, podcasts have become an integral part of our daily lives, offering a diverse array of voices and perspectives that resonate with audiences across the nation. With the best of local and global content, a commuting culture and continued promotion across all Australian media outlets, Australia is set to continue leading podcast growth.”

Top Image: iHeart podcast talent

To Top