PHOENIX — Could podcasts finally be about to get their payday?

So often trailed as “the next big thing” in media and marketing, the format remains challenged by measurement issues, but is growing in popularity and in corporate interest, according to Edison Research and Spotify’s recent acquisitions of Gimlet Media and Anchor.

A leader of the IAB, which organizes the annual event at which digital publishers pitch their new offerings to brands, says this spring’s upcoming event is likely to be different.

“I’m hoping that we’ll see a lot of great OTT content (at the Digital Content NewFronts),”says Anna Bager, IAB mobile and video SVP and GM, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“I think we’ll see quite a bit of podcasting. It isn’t the ‘Digital Video NewFronts’, it’s the ‘Digital Content NewFronts‘. So, I think we’ll see other forms of content as well. Podcast was pretty big last year, and I think it’s going to be big this year again.”

Major publishers have been falling over themselves to launch podcasts over the last year. Much-replicated formats have been true crime documentary series and daily news analysis.

Advertisers are being beckoned by audience consumption that isn’t exploding but growing solidly.

And Bager hopes that a new kind of advertiser can fit this new medium, amongst others.

After a year in which the industry has been talking about the rise of so-called “direct-to-consumer” brands like Airbnb, now publishers are being urged to go after smaller direct-to-consumer brands which are nevertheless poised to be big spenders on advertising.

The IAB has been undertaking several activities around the prospect.

Last year, it worked with Dun & Bradstreet to produce research illustrating the trend. The pair’s IAB 250 Direct Brands To Watch showed the extent to which many new brands are foregoing intermediary retail going direct to consumers and the extent of competition within that set.

Now its new report, How to Build a 21st Century Brand: 2019, hopes to sign-post eager publishers to a new wave of upstart direct brands, like Allbirds, BaubleBar, Brooklinen, Dagne Dover, Dirty Lemon, Kopari, Madison Reed, Peloton, and Plated.

“That’s a list of … really a prospect list, potentially, for a lot of our members,” says Anna Bager, IAB mobile and video SVP and GM, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“These are companies you can go after who have very healthy businesses and are very interested in advertising.”

To unite buyers and sellers, the IAB has decided to admit brands to its membership.

This segment is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting 2019, Phoenix.   This series is sponsored by Telaria.  Please find additional videos from the series on this page