As a podcaster for over 500 episodes and four years, I’ve seen podcast advertising be a game changer, first hand for brands that have worked with me. I’ve also made a great deal of my own purchasing decisions based upon the podcasts I listen to.

The format of the medium leads to more engaged listening habits than traditional radio, since the listener has to actively decide to locate and stream or download a podcast; where as radio choices (unless its satellite) come down to what is available in the geographic area for a given listener.

With over 630,000 podcasts currently available, listeners have the ability to find just what is right for them.

Listeners are also spending most of their time on mobile, 69%, which gives advertisers access to more of their time than ever, and hyper engaged with 80% listening to most of an episode.

The average podcast listener subscribes to 7 shows, to which they are most likely listening at least once a week; and develop a mental relationship with the host and the show content.

I’ve noticed from my own listening habits, that when I discover a new show, just like many do with Netflix, I listen to all available episodes, leaving the binge super aware of the advertisers mentioned on that particular show.

A percentage of hosts also present their advertising reads as native ads, leaving listeners feeling that the host is a big fan of the advertised product. This effect leaves the listener less likely to skip the ad, since it appears to be part of the show, in addition  it reacts like Influencer Marketing with its ability to push a buying decision.

Midroll, the podcast advertising arm of Stitcher, commissioned a study by Nielson, to look at the effectiveness of podcast adverting.

For those that have advertised with podcasts before, I don’t think it was a surprise. For those that have yet to invest in the medium, it’s an indicator that the time has come.

Among the key aggregate findings across the 2018 studies:

  • Podcasts generate up to 4.4x better brand recall than display ads (scroll ads, static ads and pop-up ads) on other digital media platforms. (The comparative data for digital display ads is sourced from the Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in 2017.)
  • There was an average 10 percent lift in purchase intent among listeners exposed to a podcast ad. Sixty-one percent said they were likely to buy, compared to 56 percent of listeners who did not hear an ad.

Across specific product categories:

  • A national consumer packaged goods brand had a 9 percent increase in purchase intent after working with Midroll to develop and place their ads.
  • The same national consumer product realized 43 percent greater recall with a longer, customized version of the ad, compared to the conventional, shorter ad for the same product.
  • 118 percent more people who heard a host-read ad for a national soft drink brand campaign said they were more likely to buy the highlighted flavor, compared to those who had not heard the ad.

The effectiveness of these ads over time, remains to be seen, as the medium has picked up new speed in growth, the listening audience will only continue to grow larger.

However, the results show of the study show not only the effectiveness of advertising on podcasts, but also gives big brands pause to think that the time has come to invest in the fast growing medium.