Podcasts & Ads – Why Brands Love Podcasts


The growing popularity of Podcasts among customers in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. At any one time, at the touch of a button, we can tune into our favorite shows – whether we’re going for a morning run, or running errands. And while the seamless integration of podcasts into our everyday lives is great for consumers, it’s also quickly become hot property for brands and marketers around the globe.

Advertising is Changing

There are two main reasons that brands are paying more money for Podcast advertising. The first - and the obvious - reason is the continued growth of the medium itself. Interest in podcasts has risen sharply in recent years and as a result, brands have become more receptive to how podcasts can be leveraged to promote their products and services. Secondly, they work, and that is especially important as traditional forms of marketing are declining in terms of their effectiveness in recent years.

One study found that the average click-through rate of display (or banner) ads found online is 0.6%.[1] That is a conversion rate of less than one click per one hundred views. Other studies have suggested that click-through rates could be even lower, but ultimately all studies outline that most people do not click on banner ads. This isn’t the only issue.

Around the globe, 42.7% of internet users (16-64-year-olds) use ad-blocking tools, programs, or software every month.[2] This data is no doubt alarming for brands, especially if a business is investing their money for ads that close to half of the population won’t even get to see. Perhaps the most striking piece of data is that ad blocking (and simply ignoring ads) is most common amongst internet users between the ages of 18-34; this is the same age demographic that is increasingly tuning into and consuming Podcast shows.

The Golden Opportunity in Podcasts

Podcasts present an opportunity for advertisers to be more dynamic with their marketing strategy, and they are redefining how we have historically consumed ads. While audio ads are presented in varying formats: radio, streaming services, audio-on-demand services, etc., radio has been long been the dominant player for brands to leverage to promote their offerings.

Research carried out by ARN Neuro Lab, however, found that there are distinct differences in the efficacy of advertising between podcasting, and radio. While “Radio showed the strongest ability to engage listeners and for extended periods of time, racking up 60 percent more neural engagement than other audio formats, Podcasts…were found to provide an environment that lends itself to higher levels of memory encoding.”[3]

What is particularly interesting, but perhaps no surprise is the idea that podcasts provide a space for memory encoding. The truth is that podcasts, by nature, tend to be highly engaging mediums for delivering messages. The medium is designed for the audience to hang on to every word, and this makes them an ideal target market for brands at all stages – whether well-established or a start-up trying to grow their image. This design also makes them less likely to tune in and out of a particular ad, the way they might normally do for, say a radio ad during a commercial break.

In conclusion, Podcasts present brands and advertisers with a dynamic option for marketing. There are a wide range of options to choose from, and brands can employ a more targeted approach than they would with many traditional forms of advertising such as display or banner ads. Nowadays, brands can choose shows that best align with their brand as a way to target similar audiences. Above everything, Podcasts allow brands to stay connected to audiences 24/7, and all around the world – because the only thing anyone needs to tune into their favorite show is a smartphone device and internet access. The proximity that Podcasts present to their target audience is priceless.


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[1] https://www.orientation.agency/insights/are-banner-ads-effective-in-the-science-sectors#:~:text=A%20Think%20with%20Google%20study,not%20click%20on%20banners%20ads. [2] https://backlinko.com/ad-blockers-users [3]https://www.radiodayseurope.com/aggregator/sources/2#:~:text=ARN%20Neuro%20Lab%20research%20suggests,engagement%20than%20other%20audio%20formats