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Pathmatics Blog
D2C Disruptors |


How Top D2C Brands Spend Their Digital and Podcast Ad Dollars

August 07 2020 by Sarah Fleishman

Each year, direct to consumer (D2C) brands continue to become stronger forces in the advertising landscape, pushing some larger, traditional brands to innovate their advertising strategies and work harder to keep their market share. As of H1 2020, some D2C brands now working their way into our top 10 advertiser lists, especially across social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

When it comes to Podcasts, however, D2C brands were among the first movers, pushing more traditional brands to rethink the value of this fast-growing space.  What does this all mean for D2C  ad spending in 2020? We joined forces with Magellan AI to look at this rapidly growing sector. 

Showing Growth Across the Board

Since Q1 2020, D2C brands have increased digital spend by 30%, peaking in Q4 of 2018. Podcast spending, by the same token, has increased steadily every quarter, with some seasonality in Q4 every year. 

Which brands lead this growth? In 2020 so far, we see very different advertisers taking the top spots on each medium. On digital, the focus leans more toward retail. We see 3 mattress brands alongside other D2C household names including Peloton and Stitch Fix. On the podcast side, financial services companies like Rocket Mortgage, Cash App, and Honey make the top spots, alongside some unexpected brands including Stamps.com and ExpressVPN.

COVID-19 and D2C Advertisers

Did D2C brands adjust their advertising spend as stay-at-home orders began to hit at the the end of Q1? It turns out they did, but not as drastically as we saw from some other verticals. Taking advantage of many people being stuck at home with less access to groceries and restaurants, Blue Apron increased spending from Q1 to Q2 on both the podcast and digital fronts, by 66% and a whopping 681%, respectively. 

Conversely, Peloton, already entering Q1 of 2020 with some controversy around their advertising strategy, greatly reduced spending on both platforms in Q2, by 74% and 96%, respectively. 

In our recent podcast, we dive into these trends and more, including a deeper look at Blue Apron, SimpliSafe, Purple, and Madison Reed. 


We'll be watching closely throughout the rest of the year to see how these brands continue to navigate the changes of 2020. 

About Author
Sarah Fleishman

With over a decade of experience across digital marketing, content, creative, and PR, Sarah is a creative and dynamic thinker who loves to delight clients with unique and relatable content. Sarah graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Sociology.

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