Podcasts: A Sound Investment for Advertisers

blue headphones on yellow background

Podcasts are all the rage, and their audiences continue to grow. Despite the amount of people listening to podcasts, advertisers are slow to take advantage of this large and loyal audience. Just for fun, we surveyed a few of our teammates at Pace to find out their listening and purchasing habits. The results may surprise you—and lead you to a new marketing platform!

Millennials and Generation X were the two largest groups of podcast listeners in our office, split almost evenly, which is on par with the average age of listeners based on this PodTrac study. Millennials hold a large amount of purchasing power—in the U.S. alone, they are expected to spend around $600 billion each year—making them a key target demographic for many companies. By utilizing podcasts, you can ensure that you will be reaching a high volume of consumers ready to spend on the right product.

With so much content available via podcasts, each listener develops their own way of listening. However, people generally fall into two categories: subscribers or cherry-pickers. Among Pace listeners, 72 percent were subscribers—often loyal fans who might be more easily swayed to action, like Pace employees Lisa and Chris.

The followers (more like ardent fans) of this particular podcast are referred to as “Littles”—there are groups of “Loyal Littles” on Facebook and Twitter. I belong to both, actually referencing my Loyal Little status in my Twitter bio. I have even purchased products promoted on the podcast. —Lisa Bouchey

I have made many purchases of healthcare products and exercise equipment mentioned in podcasts as well as training related to SEO and import shipping. I have shared much of the information about exercise/health practices I’ve gleaned from podcasts with friends. —Chris Boggs

Cherry-pickers, on the other hand, tend to be choosier when selecting which podcasts to listen to. They tend to navigate toward episodes based on particular celebrities, politicians, authors, etc. who are hosting or being interviewed. Advertisers can use this the same way they utilize influencers on social media. The host reads the ad on most podcasts, so if people trust their host, then they will be more likely to purchase the product.

“I’d say I more actively listen to ads on podcasts than on TV/radio, because they are faster, delivered in a more natural/organic way by the host, because I like and respect the host and the hosts often only promote products they believe in …” —Lucinda Hahn

Many podcast listeners find new series through existing shows that they listen to. By advertising throughout an entire series or across similar series, you can target similar audiences. For example, “This American Life” also hosts “S-Town” and “Serial.” You can reach many of the same audiences by advertising across these shows, making a greater impact by having multiple trustworthy hosts backing your product to your target audience.

Podcasts are here to stay. Make sure you take advantage of this active and growing audience when deciding where to spend your advertising dollars.

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