Podcasts create loyal followings, which is good news for advertisers

·2-min read
A majority of podcast listeners listen to a new episode of their favorite podcast within a day.

While the podcast market has been booming for over a year, the pandemic has driven many listeners to embrace this kind of audio content. This new appetite for podcasts is particularly good news for advertisers, as their ads appear to be better perceived in podcasts than in other media formats.

From the entertaining to the educational, and from the liberated to the activist, podcasts are drawing more and more listeners around the world. Screen-related eye strain has a lot to do with it, according to a new study of more than 3,000 Americans conducted by Spotify and MAGNA. More than 70% of those surveyed said that they experienced screen fatigue during the pandemic. This is something they are fighting against with podcasts. Four out of ten listeners even cited screen fatigue as the primary reason they are listening to more digital audio content.

For Gen Zers, podcasts are above all a new way to connect with others during the pandemic. Baby Boomers, however, see them primarily as a way to de-stress. "There's no doubt the pandemic changed consumption habits and we're clearly seeing audio and podcast listening are extremely popular right now," said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA.

A new El Dorado for advertising?

The study also revealed that podcast listeners are particularly devoted to the shows they listen to regularly. In fact, 60% of listeners listen to a new episode of their favorite podcast within a day, and 26% within a week. In comparison, 58% of TV viewers watch a new episode of their favorite TV show in the 24 hours following its broadcast. Relistening to podcasts is also becoming increasingly common, mirroring how users often rewatch favorite TV shows.

And listener fidelity for podcasts is of keen interest to advertisers, who see an opportunity to revitalize the advertising sector. And rightly so, according to the figures. In the Spotify and MAGNA survey, 43% of respondents said that they're receptive to podcast ads, compared to just 17% who reported being receptive to TV ads.

Podcast hosts appear to play a key role in this phenomenon, since the majority of listeners surveyed (84%) trust in the recommendations that they make. "We found it particularly interesting that people are more receptive to ads on audio. Brands should ensure they are leveraging more audio and podcasting to keep up with consumption trends and consider targeting based on moods given the impact positive moods have on listening patterns," concludes Kara Manatt.

Caroline Drzewinski