As of September 2019, there are around 9 million listeners tuning into a podcast each week in the UK. Research has found that half of these listeners have joined the podcast wave in the last two years. So why are podcasts becoming so popular?

Well although they have been around for about a decade, audio apps such as ACast have now made the medium a more accessible and seamless service to stream and enjoy without any extra frills or fuss.

Podcasts offer a unique opportunity for brands to connect with their target audience in a more seamless and organic way. With access to the right data, advertisers can target listeners very specifically based on their psychographics, lowering wastage of costs and increasing effectiveness and engagement.  Platforms such as Spotify are now able to target listeners based on their usage behaviour, and listening preferences which can open a world of opportunity for brands looking to target a Niche audience. Through Podcasts, advertisers can extend their reach and capture an audience that doesn’t listen to commercial radio which according to ACast is 62% of their listeners. Thanks to the “intimacy effect” of audio, many podcast listeners have described feeling a personal connection with hosts of their favourite shows much more than they hold with a host via video or radio. Listeners are more likely to consider research, purchase and recommend a product after hearing a sponsored host read, with 45% stating they visited a sponsor’s website after hearing one.

Tapping into the on-demand culture, listeners choose the type of content they want to hear and when they want to hear it making them inherently more engaged than they would be with a radio station. With just 3 ads per hour whilst listening, Podcasts provide a clutter- free space for the brain to consume an ad’s message, but also an opportunity for advertisers to deliver cut through with their messaging.

In an age where people lead such busy lives, a medium that allows listeners to tune in as a secondary activity is very desirable. Regular podcast listening can be done almost anywhere, with 80% of listening taking place at home whilst carrying out other tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Ofcom have revealed 22% of at home listening is done through a Smart Speaker, whilst, 76% of listening takes place on a smartphone or tablet. Podcast listeners are a very ideal demographic to target to drive purchase on a product or service as they earn above the national average with 1 in 5 of them earning over £100k a year, and 61% claim that friends seek their advice on new products and services making them highly influential.

There are so many reasons why you should begin considering including Podcasts in your media plans, they hold low entry prices, are a great way to target customers whilst they are on the move and would complement other formats such as out-of-home in an integrated campaign. A great example of this is O2’s Samsung S8 Digital audio campaign that pinpointed customers within 500m to their Out-of-home billboards using Global’s Dax platform. Once the customer passed a billboard the ad would be served and the device logged, allowing the user to be tracked as part of a footfall study. This was described to be one of O2’s ground breaking campaigns offering positive results.

The use of podcasts are increasing at an incredibly fast rate, with a 24% rise just over this past year. Acast have revealed that 76% of listeners act on an advert they hear in a podcast, so now is the time to pay attention to this understated medium and begin exploring it. Advertisers have spent a lot of time thinking about how they look but it’s safe to say they need to equally focus on how they sound.

Tayla Thomas - Graduate

Author:Tayla Thomas - Graduate

Tayla is a Marketing Communications Graduate that recently joint the Broadcast team as part of her Graduate Rotation. In her own time Tayla is a dedicated Mum and enjoys up-cycling furniture and any other item she can get hold of!