Thanks to the help of Acast’s rebranding of the sector and success of the infamous mystery-meets-soap-opera series ‘Serial’, the popularity of podcasts has only continued to grow in the UK. What was once seen as amateurish or boring, is now becoming one of the trendy and targeted platforms for not only reaching, but actually engaging, young people.
The unique relationship between listener and podcast is very intimate, due to the hand-picked, on-demand nature of the platform. Listeners actively seek out targeted content about topics they are interested in, and with 85% of podcast listening being via mobile, the privacy of headphones further adds an extra level of engagement and intimacy to the platform. If you listen to podcasts, you will know that there is a huge sense of community amongst podcast creators and listeners, and on average fans subscribe to an average of six podcasts per week!
Consumption of podcasts actually falls very much in line with that of video-on-demand streaming services, such as Netflix and catch-up TV providers, who make content available at any time in a non-linear stream. And we have certainly seen just how popular these platforms have grown over the last few years.
Across the industry it has been argued that younger generations are becoming increasingly difficult to target through traditional forms of advertising, especially with their inconsistent, fleeting media consumption. However, what the rising success of podcasts shows is that the future is not all doom and gloom. We ‘millennials’ (as the industry loves to call us) are not emotionless, tech-addicted robots; we have a wide breath of interests that we feel passionate about, and it’s just a case that these tech-savvy audiences want to be able to find targeted content, when and wherever they want it. And if it’s not being served to us, then we will just go and find it ourselves because we know how to. This is the underlining challenge that the media faces, and how a platform or brand reacts to this will determine its success, and ultimately its survival.
Brands therefore need to step up to this challenge and be clever about this and apply behavioural planning to their campaigns. They need to find out what their audiences are motivated by, and then make their advertising campaign relevant to these passion points.
Through podcast advertising, brands have the opportunity to speak to a highly engaged, passionate audience who will therefore react more positively to advertising as a result, and are thus likely to favour the brands they hear.
As podcast listening continues to grow and the industry evolves, new formats and partnership opportunities are being developed as we speak. Advertisers need to keep up with the latest trends, no matter how small, because before you know it that small, unheard of platform will be the next big thing. Therefore it is definitely the time when brands should be investing in podcast advertising, especially while it is so cost-effective…for now!