Mature podcast industry increases appeal to advertisers



According to data from Nielsen Podcast Buying Power, the percentage of the American adult population listening to podcasts has increased by more than 40% in the past three years. As podcasts become a more important part of our media culture, they are attracting a larger audience. The growth in the number of listeners occurs in all age segments as more and more consumers discover and start listening to podcasts.

The growing appeal of podcasts to the mainstream is exactly why brands and agencies need to track engagement and take advantage of opportunities in their marketing strategies and campaigns, the report concludes:

“The growth of podcasting has offered advertisers a huge opportunity to reach very engaged niche audiences” says Arica McKinnon, vice president, client advice at Nielsen. “As the industry has made strides in capturing metrics like downloads, brands have been challenged to understand the impact of ads. Today, these challenges are fading.

Podcast advertising, especially when read by the host, generates stronger brand recall than more traditional forms of advertising. Nielsen’s Podcast Ad Effectiveness (PAE) solutions revealed that host-read ads generate a 71% brand retention rate, which in turn creates high levels of

Longer ads (60 seconds and more) generate even higher earnings among consumers. When it comes to finding more information about a brand, longer ads are almost 70% more effective in this category than shorter ones. Both buy intent and recommend intent increase scores are 40% higher for longer ads than for shorter ads. Longer ads not only generate stronger engagement, but they also boost brand retention: almost three-quarters of listeners were able to remember the brand after hearing a longer ad. The financial services, technology and consumer packaged goods (CPG) sectors stand out with a high advertising recall, likely due to the pandemic.

The report recommends that brands don’t approach podcasts with the same advertising strategies they use in traditional mainstream media. Given the wealth of data on podcast listeners, brands have the opportunity to engage with listeners who are most receptive to learning more about their products and services.

The report provides an example case study of an American financial investment brand that strived to create a sense of trust, credibility and enthusiasm among consumers in a time of rapid change, uncertainty and technological progress.

To meet its challenge, the brand began to advertise in podcasts. After being exposed to brand advertising, 79% of listeners were able to remember the financial services brand, which is significantly higher than the Nielsen benchmark of 65% for the financial services industry. Almost half of those surveyed described advertising as “trustworthy” and “convenient”. The ad also received high brand fit scores, which contributed to high agreement with brand attributes and high recall scores.


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