Podcast Advertising Commands the Highest Levels of Attention Across Media Formats

A new study commissioned by the Guardian found podcast advertising raises positive perceptions of brands and encourages listeners to take buying action.

The nationwide study, undertaken on behalf of the Guardian by independent research company Tapestry, looked at the effectiveness of podcast advertising and found that podcast advertising commands the highest levels of attention of any media channel. The study found 65% of listeners paid attention to podcast adverts – more than adverts on TV at 39% and adverts on the radio at 38%.

These high levels of attention translate into greater likelihood to buy the product or service being advertised. For example, 51% of weekly users of each channel said podcast adverts made them want to buy something from the brand versus 38% for radio.

Listeners turn to the Guardian for informative, memorable podcast experiences

Guardian branded podcasts are particularly impactful, improving listeners’ opinions of brands. When comparing the same adverts being played on the Guardian and other unbranded podcasts people are more likely to say the ad was “informative”, “memorable,” and “appealing”.

Positive and trusting perceptions of the Guardian are also rubbing off on listeners of these podcasts, 51% of respondents surveyed said hearing about a brand on a Guardian podcast improved their opinion about a brand and made them want to find out more about a brand.

The research findings are in line with results seen by brands advertising with the Guardian including the retailer Ocado. Ocado, who are the sponsors for the hit podcast show Comfort Eating, after advertising with the Guardian saw an uplift in new customers, with 25% saying they’d listened to the podcast. They also saw a 62% increase in positive customer brand perception and 89% new unique visitors to their website.

Podcasts have a multiplier effect on other advertising formats

On its own, podcast advertising has clear benefits – they are strong at telling consumers something new about a brand, raising perceptions and ultimately, driving purchase.

Interestingly, in combination with other media, the overall effectiveness of an advertising campaign is maximized by adding podcasts into the mix. For example, those saying “it tells me something new about the brand” increases by 34% when podcasts are added alongside a radio campaign.

They also help dial-up the ‘brand’ part of branded content – 47% of those exposed to branded content said “it improves my opinion of the brand.” Add podcast adverts to the mix and the same metric jumps to 64%.

Combined with the visual cues of digital display, podcast make campaigns more memorable and trustworthy. Trust level increases from 45% to 63% when podcast are added into the media mix.

Podcasts have grown in popularity and are reaching a younger, more diverse audience

Podcasts are now reaching younger and more diverse audiences, many of whom are parents – 26% of weekly podcast listeners are now coming from non-white backgrounds and the average listener age is younger at 37, compared to 40 in previous Guardian research in 2020.

Podcasts have shown the most growth of any media, helping them to become more mainstream – 41% of podcast listeners are listening to podcast more than they were 12 months ago, increasing to 53% for the Guardian audience.

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