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Direct response advertisers continue to be the financial engine powering podcasters forward and a new report shows which brands are the big spenders. MediaRadar reports direct-to-consumer ad spending is up 15% so far in 2019.  It says roughly 800 DTC brands have advertised, and are “all over the map” in terms of product categories. 

The largest DTC advertiser so far this year is SmileDirectClub, the tele-dentistry company. MediaRadar says it has spent more than $150 million across all media, working from its own in-house media buying agency. The report says the DTC teeth straightening brand has spent heavily on advertising since it launched in 2014. 

Wayfair ranked second, spending more than $100 million in 2019 to market its home goods. MediaRadar says Wayfair placed its ads “ubiquitously if not judiciously.” 

Jet ranked third. It also spent more than $100 million on advertising as the Walmart-owned online retailer aims to grow its reach. 

The genealogy site Ancestry.com ranked fourth, spending more than $50 million across all media. MediaRadar says Ancestry has expanded its marketing mix this year with an “elevated presence” across TV, online video and display ads. Rounding out the top five is the clothing retailer Untuckit. It is said to have spent more than $25 million on DTC ads in 2019 as it tries to stand out in a crowded apparel market. The rest of the top ten included Touch of Modern, Hims, Casper Mattresses, Stitch Fix, and Third Love.

The growing reliance of programmatic ad sales is helping increase DTC marketing spending. Earlier this year the firm report that between 2014 and 2018 DTC ad spending grew by 50%. But MediaRadar says some of the smaller brands may find it difficult to stand out in the coming years as more traditional brands reach into the direct-to-consumer space. “Newer brands will have a harder time getting noticed using these time consuming, content-heavy and long-term strategies,” it said in a blog post. To compensate, it says some newer DTC brands may opt for more traditional brand advertising maneuvers.