Podcasts are a fantastic way for companies to regularly generate digestible content and stay at the forefront of their customers’ minds. The impact of podcasts is certainly being felt in the US, where 16 million homes could be classified as “avid podcast fans”, a year-on-year increase of 3 million from 2016.
This has led to massive increase in US podcasting ad revenue, which has now risen to over $300 million. A report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhourseCooper presented the findings from 19 self-reporting companies that generate revenue from podcast advertising in the US, which equates to a year-on-year growth of 117% rise in ad revenue.
The report also forecasted the future growth of the market, which projected an increase of 28% and reaching $659 million in 2020.
One of its biggest advantages is that podcast listeners are incredibly mobile, listening while they drive, cycle, and even while working out. Smartphones remain the most popular device for consuming podcasts and mean that listeners can make podcasts into their daily routine as much as checking their social media profiles.
However, perhaps the most effective aspect of podcasts is the fact that hosts can inject their own personality in the ad reads to make them more effective. One of my favourite content producers is The Ringer, whose podcasting network is segmented into appropriate sports, news, and pop culture themes. All of their ads are read by their show’s individual host, meaning the same company can be advertised many different ways between each show.
Why, among consuming neigh-on 10 hours of content from The Ringer every week, do I remember Blue Apron, a recipe ingredient delivery service? Because host Bill Simmons regularly tells stories about his family life, including when his son said that he loved ordering food from “blue a-prune”.
The IAB and PwC report showed that host-reads are the preferred form of advertising, representing two-thirds (66.9%) of ads in 2017. A Neilsen study that same year found over three-quarters (78%) of podcast listeners don’t mind ads or sponsors because they support the show they’re listening to. This means that while 26% of US consumers use some variety of ad-blocking software, which affects those that appear on website banners and video platforms such as YouTube, they’re more accepting of podcasting ads as they’re delivered directly from the hosts themselves and naturally blended into the content they enjoy.
By James Story
James Story has worked in the world of digital marketing since 2014 as a content and online PR executive. Specialising in content creation, he has been part of award-nominated projects and instrumental in the creation of content hubs. With a passion for the written word and an eye for detail, he is currently the Content Manager & Data Analyst for all of Smart Insight's resources. You can connect with James on LinkedIn
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