Podcast Audiences Don’t Mind Ads, Study Finds

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, May 18

People love podcasts. Podcast listenership continues to rise. And now, a new study by Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights offers numerous reasons for advertisers to love podcasts. Here are some highlights:

Three out of four weekly podcast listeners have taken an action after hearing a podcast ad
If the goal of an ad is to get listeners to take an action (purchase the product or service, use a promo code, or search online for more information, for instance), then podcast ads are succeeding. Three out of four weekly podcast listeners have taken an action after hearing a podcast ad–and heavy podcast listeners (those who listen to podcasts 6+ hours/week) respond even more. 

From 2017 to 2021, ad tolerance has been steady among weekly podcast listeners
In July 2017, for a 60-minute podcast, weekly podcast listeners would consider an average of 3.6 ads per podcast to be appropriate, compared to 3.8 ads per podcast in March 2021, a lift of +6%.

Podcast listeners are comfortable hearing ads; the more they listen, the more ads they will accept
Heavy podcast listeners consider an average of 4.2 ads per podcast to be appropriate for a 60-minute podcast, while weekly listeners overall consider an average of 3.8 ads per podcasts appropriate.

Positive attitudes towards podcast advertising are stable
In March 2021, 46% of weekly podcast listeners agreed with the following statement: “Most of the ads I hear on podcasts are engaging.” And 65% said they would not mind a couple of extra minutes of ads per show in order for their favorite podcast to continue. These results have remained stable since 2017.

Eight out of ten weekly podcast listeners enjoy when podcast hosts incorporate their personality into live reads
Part of podcast ads’ appeal is that listeners enjoy hearing hosts speak in their own words about the products or services advertised. Only five percent of weekly podcast listeners preferred a straight ad read.

Are you ready to hear your brand’s message on a medium whose listeners are positive and engaged—and who enjoy listening to podcast ads? Contact SMI today to learn more about how you can advertise on podcasts.

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