Op-ed: What Everyone Should Know About Advertising on Podcasts

By Jessica Kupferman, CEO, j/k media agency

People who listen to podcasts find podcast advertising the least intrusive over any other medium.

Not only that, they act on the ads: 37% of TV ads affect a purchase decision, and about 7% on social media networks. Yet, a whopping 60% of people who listen to podcasts have said that they have tried a product or attended an event as a result of a podcast ad. That’s right — ⅔ of people who have heard a podcast ad have taken some sort of action — completely dwarfing any other medium.

They’re subscribe-a-holics. 91% subscribe to a streaming TV service (Netflix, Hulu), 41% subscribe to an audio streaming service (Spotify, Pandora) and, on average are subscribed to 6 or more podcasts that they listen to on a weekly basis. 22% also are subscribed to a product-of-the-month club. (In case you were curious.)

Jessica Kupferman CEO, j/k media agency

About 30% of podcast listeners say that they never skip the advertisements when listening to podcasts. This is because the ads are mostly host-read, and unlike other types of advertising, the listener is so engaged with the program that they often don’t notice when the conversation has shifted to an advertisement.

There are over 400,000 podcasts being created in iTunes, and 75% of them are current (meaning being updated on a regular basis.) That means that those audience profiles created by advertisers each have shows that are targeted exactly towards them, and you can get as specifically niche as you’d like in who you speak to on a podcast.

Last but not least, podcast listeners are 10% more educated and affluent than the US population as a whole and 15% more of them are employed.

So given these statistics, the question is why brands haven’t turned their attention as to podcasting yet?

The answer, most often, is that companies, brands and agencies hate trying new advertising avenues unless it’s a guarantee. So they stick with what they know, allowing others to try new mediums first and measure the success and failure of others.

In some cases, they dabble in podcast advertising by hiring a podcast agency to guide and then buy for them, and with no real understanding of how it works and what shows are best, they’re at the mercy of going with someone else’s best interests.

Podcast advertising is powerful, powerful stuff — if you understand what’s working and why. You’ll see a ROI like never before and a surge in brand loyalty — but you need to play an active role in the strategy and measurement.

To learn more from Jessica and about podcast advertising, check out her Power of Podcast Advertising webinar series where she will explain in detail the podcast ad industry: the different players, the game strategy, and most importantly, how to win.