Advertisers Warm to Podcasts’ Receptive Audiences

September 16, 2016

westwoodoneadvertiserperceptions-advertisers-growing-interest-in-podcasts-sept2016More than 1 in 8 Americans listen to podcasts on at least a weekly basis, almost twice the share from just 2013, according to a recent study from Triton Digital and Edison Research. Now, two new studies indicate that advertisers are taking note of podcasts, which appear to have audiences that are receptive to ads.

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In fact, almost two-thirds of adult podcast listeners in the US claim to be more willing to consider products and services after they learn about them on podcasts, per a recent study from the IAB and Edison Research [pdf]. Respondents reported having taken a variety of actions as a result of sponsorship or advertising hear in podcasts they enjoy, including (but not limited to):

  • Visiting a sponsor’s website (45%);
  • Considering a new product or service (42%);
  • Gathering more info about a company or product (37%);
  • Using a promotional discount code mentioned in the podcast (28%); and
  • Purchasing a product or service (25%).


Two elements of podcast advertising appear to be working in their favor: relevance; and the hosts promoting the products and services. To wit, 7 in 10 podcast listeners agreed that the products and services they learn about on podcasts are generally relevant to their interests, while close to half (44%) agreed that the products and services advertised are ones they personally use or purchase.

As regards podcast hosts, a slight majority (52%) agreed that they believe that the hosts of podcasts they regularly listen to are actual users of the products and services mentioned on their programs. Moreover, respondents were more likely to respond positively to mentions of products and services discussed by hosts (55%) than to pre-recorded ads from a brand, company or sponsor (34%).

Sensing an opportunity, advertisers – like consumers – appear to be increasing their own use of podcasts. In a separate study from Westwood One in partnership with Advertiser Perceptions, 21% of marketers and agencies surveyed reported advertising in podcasts, up from 15% in a similar study conducted 9 months earlier.

Similar upticks were observed for:

  • The percentage of marketers and agencies who had discussed podcasts advertising for potential media investment (58%, up from 41%);
  • The proportion definitely considering advertising in podcasts in the next 6 months (28% vs. 18%); and
  • The percentage saying they definitely will advertise in podcasts in the coming 6 months (21% vs. 10%).

Perhaps in the near-term we’ll be witnessing the rise of podcast ad-blocking?

About the Data: The Westwood One and Advertiser Perceptions data is based on a July 2016 study of 284 marketers and agencies, which was compared with a September 2015 study of 310 marketers and agencies.

The IAB and Edison Research results are from an online survey of 953 adult (18+) current podcast listeners conducted in August 2016.

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