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Podcasts Present: A Safe, Measurable and Scalable Medium for National Advertisers

By Idil Cakim, SVP, Research & Insights, Audacy

With the growing popularity of podcasts, marketers everywhere are looking to incorporate podcast advertising into their media plans. Direct-to-consumer advertisers were early adopters of podcast advertising and initially accounted for 80% of podcasting revenue share[1]. However, with the onslaught of new brands coming on board with brand awareness and branded content campaigns, DTC brands now account for about half. The explosion of podcast listeners over the past couple of years and the industry rising to pass the $1 billion revenue mark[2], begs the question – why would any major advertiser hesitate to adopt podcast advertising?

What Attracts National Brands to Podcasts

While major brands have definitely begun to dip their toe into podcast advertising, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the podcast audience with a more comprehensive marketing strategy.

Robust Audience: The podcast channel starts to look like a channel that can’t be ignored when considering the growth in audience. Podcast listening is now the norm for 37 million adults[3], and this audience tends to have higher income and deep loyalty to podcasts they subscribe to or download.

Brand Safe Environment: Podcast advertising success and listenership are very closely tied to the host. Brands are eager to avoid any deviation in credibility or brand voice that comes with the human element of podcast sponsorships or host-read ads. What most have seen is that loyalty to strong podcast hosts is a positive– made safer still with a little leg work, ensuring podcast selection, audience, and ad format are closely tied to brand objectives. Unlike broad-base tactics like display advertising, marketers are buying media for specific podcast programming that can be customized to match brand voice and goals.

Works across Brand Funnel: It’s true – podcasts are great at driving conversions for direct-response accounts. But podcasts have proven to be much more than a one trick pony. Accurate brand measurement that shows results in brand recognition, affinity and purchase intent is proof that podcasts are successful at brand building.

Measurable: Up until a few years ago, marketers found it difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the podcast channel – driven primarily by limited data output and measurement methodologies. That early guesswork is primarily gone – podcast ad campaigns can now easily be measured, whether the goal is driving brand awareness, foot traffic, app download or even sales conversion. Current attribution measurement is more accurate than ever before. Smart advertisers track pixels and connect their digital data with household and device graphs. This is a much more enhanced way of measuring success than using vanity URLs and promo codes—which traditionally underrepresented Audio’s impact and did not scale across the full funnel.

Results speak for themselves: A CPG Brand Lift Study conducted by Nielsen on an Audacy Podcast Network campaign showed significant increases in brand affinity, purchase intent and likelihood to recommend for those exposed to sponsored podcast ads.

Combined Graphs scaled

The Time to Step into Podcast Advertising is Right Now

Podcast successes are piling up and forcing the channel up to the top of marketers’ priority list. And those brands who choose podcasting as a pathway to reach valuable audiences are seeing tremendous return on their investments. A meta-analysis conducted by Claritas[4] across industries, such as consumer packaged goods, automotive, direct brands, finance and insurance, shows that while non-podcast channels historically result in a 2.6% lift in conversions – with common channels such as such as digital display at 1.1% lift, print at 2.4% and linear TV at 3.1% – podcast channels are driving 34% lift on average.
From raising brand awareness to converting customers, podcasting is a tremendously effective, measurable and scalable medium. Brands that move into podcasting now will rise above the crowd in a high-growth medium and enjoy significant increases in key success metrics.

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[1] eMarketer, As Digital Audio Advertising Heats Up, D2Cs Pivot to Podcasts, 2019.
[2] IAB, US Podcast Advertising Revenue Study, FY 2019-20 COVID Impact
[3] Edison Research, Triton Digital, The Infinite Dial Survey, 2020. Metric refers to monthly podcast listenership.

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