Podcast Ads Reach Consumers Radio and TV Misses

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Apr 06
Woman sitting in a field with her laptop. SHe's wearing headphones and holding up two peace signs with her hands.

When brands place their ads on podcasts, they are increasingly reaching audiences missed by broadcast radio and TV. This is one of the key findings of The Medium Moves the Message,” a comparative study of the effects of advertising across AM/FM Radio, Network/Cable TV, and Podcasting. 


The reach of podcasts is growing, especially among younger demos, with half of Gen Zs being reached by podcasts weekly. At 50%, Podcasting’s weekly reach among 18- to 34-year-olds is nearing that of AM/FM radio (59%) and TV (54%). 


Heavy users of podcasts (those who listen for 5+ hours/week) are nearly a generation younger than heavy consumers of AM/FM radio and TV, the study found. The average age of heavy podcast users is 37, versus 56 for heavy radio listeners and 59 for heavy consumers of TV.


Broadcast and podcast audiences are pulling apart, and podcast advertisers can now reach audiences that are not reached by radio or TV.


For the 25-54-year-old age group, podcasting extends the reach of weekly radio listeners by 12% and 15% among weekly television viewers,” Inside Radio reported. The impact is even greater among the 18-34 demo. Podcasts reach 18% of that demo who don’t listen to the radio and 19% that don’t watch broadcast TV.


The study also found that podcast listeners were much more likely than TV or AM/FM users to support brands that support their favorite shows. And podcast listeners are more likely than TV or AM/FM users to say ads prompt a purchase. Podcast ads also hold consumers’ attention better than AM/FM or TV ads, the study found.


Webster said the intimacy of the podcast format fosters a “thread of positivity” towards brands that use podcasting. But since some brands use prerecorded spots on podcasts that are similar to radio and TV ads, he thinks there are other factors behind podcast listeners’ receptivity.

“Podcast listeners, especially heavy listeners, are less saturated with ads in general,” Webster said. “That makes them a little bit more receptive to advertising because they’re not getting bombarded with it just by dint of the choices that they are making.”

Lisa Risk, SMI’s Podcast Strategist, agrees. “Our clients are able to use podcast advertising as a way to tap into audiences that are otherwise hard to reach,” said “These listeners are younger and more likely to subscribe to audio and TV ad-free services. By adding a podcast campaign on top of a radio campaign, our clients are able to reach even more potential customers without worrying about oversaturating their audiences.”

Are you ready to reach new audiences through podcasts? Contact SMI today.

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