DTC Podcast Advertising: What It Is and Why It Works

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Wednesday, Feb 23
Woman recording a podcast on her laptop computer with headphones and a microscope. Female podcaster making audio podcast from her home studio.

In direct-to-consumer podcast advertising, podcast hosts speak candidly about a product and offer a call-to-action. CTAs most often drive listeners to a website or a number to text, often to receive a discount. When listeners respond to a CTA, they take a step towards completing a purchase.

DTC podcast advertising combines the benefits of host-read ads with the strengths of direct response. If you’re a marketer not currently using DTC podcast advertising, here are five reasons why you should. 



According to Lee Syatt, Podcast Operations at SMI, DTC “podcast advertising works because podcasting offers advertisers more access to consumers than any other medium.” While visual mediums like TV and video require the viewer’s focused attention, podcasts give listeners the freedom to multitask. Podcast listeners can consume podcasts while they’re driving, at work, with the kids, doing chores, commuting, etc. Podcasts can also be downloaded and consumed anywhere. The flexibility of consumption offers audiences more time to spend with podcasts than with other forms of content. 



The podcast advertiser can also target their ads to the right audience with more accuracy than they can with other mediums, Syatt said. “DTC allows the advertisers proof that their campaigns are working and information to fix campaigns that aren’t.”



DTC podcast advertising is performance-based advertising, reaching consumers that are highly engaged in the content, said Christina Baeten, SMI’s Director of Client Services. “Being an advertiser on a podcast inherently tells the listener their show/host believes in the brand, and that implied endorsement is powerful,” Baeten said. “It works because your brand is being personally endorsed by the hosts/celebrities/gurus that the listener dedicates time to listen to, usually on a regular basis.” Baeten added, “I once heard it referred to as ‘buying intimacy,’ as you are being heard by an audience listening in a 1:1 way to the content, and on their own schedule (as opposed to a broadcast medium).”



Podcast hosts often have the opportunity to try out the products they are advertising firsthand. Talking about their experiences in their own words gives podcast hosts a level of authenticity that can be difficult to achieve with produced ads.



“Podcast roots are with direct response brands (razors, mattresses, bedding, watches),” said Brooke Murray, SMI’s Director of Strategic Growth, “and it’s for good reason. It’s because in the early days of podcast when there was limited information to share on how many people were listening or who was listening, everything had to be performance-based, generating profitable results. This alone is a testament to the profitability of the channel. If podcast wasn’t a profitable channel, DR brands wouldn’t have continued airing on the shows or the channel.” 


At Strategic Media, Inc. our podcast clients have had great results across a wide range of categories, including: art, health, finance, fitness, home, and vehicles.

Are you ready to advertise on podcasts? To connect your brand with its target audience through podcasts, contact SMI today.

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