Podcasts’ Active Listeners Primed for Brand Messaging

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Dec 01
woman with headphones

Global media company Team Whistle set out to study Gen Z’s and Millennials’ relationships to podcasts. Their key takeaway? “Podcast listening is an active, engaged, and lean-in experience. And, because this generation is actively listening, they are attuned and ready to receive a brand message.”

Among its findings, the study found that podcasts serve as entertainment to enhance other activities. 74% of 13 to 34-year-olds said they put on a podcast while doing other things to keep them entertained. Respondents were more likely to choose podcasts over TV while commuting, working, doing chores, or studying. But when it’s time to wind down, including after work or school and before bedtime, podcast usage declines and TV usage increases.

These listenership habits are advantageous for podcast advertisers. As Inside Radio reported, “Targeting a consumer who is on and engaged before work or while studying – available to search the product online or on social media – is more impactful than a consumer who is about to go to bed or exhausted after a long day,” Tommy Walters, Research and Insights Manager at Team Whistle, said.

SMI previously explored the idea that podcasts’ “active” listeners are more receptive to advertising than television audiences, who tune out during commercial breaks. This strength of the podcast medium, combined with the connection established between podcast listeners and hosts, make podcasts an especially viable medium for advertising.

Team Whistle found that 71% of Gen Z listeners and 51% of Millennials prefer unscripted or off the cuff content to scripted and organized podcast content. Similarly, SMI has found that host-read podcast ads outperform produced podcast ads. “[U]nscripted is key when establishing an authentic, friend-like connection,” Team Whistle concluded. They reported that 83% of podcast listeners “say their favorite podcasters feel like their friends,” which is undoubtedly a driving force behind the success of podcast ads. 

Podcasts have the lowest ad-skipping rate of any medium. And 77% of respondents to the Team Whistle survey said they “have considered making a purchase because of an ad they heard in a podcast.” 

If you’re advertising on podcasts, you can rest assured that, not only are your ads being heard, they are being heard by listeners who are actively paying attention to your brand’s message.

To learn more about podcast advertising and how your brand can benefit from the medium’s active listeners, contact SMI today.

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