Want Engaged Audiences for Your Ads? Advertise on Podcasts.

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, May 25
Man in yellow shirt sitting on the ground listening to music.

The podcast medium continues to explode, with listenership growing 70% in just the past 4-5 years, Inside Radio reports. Podcasts now have well over 150 million monthly listeners in the US. And, as a new study shows, those listeners are paying attention.


A third of podcast listeners (33%) pay more attention to podcast ads than they do to other ads on other media, according to the customer experience platform DISQO. For those who listen to podcasts daily, that number jumps to 45%.

About two-thirds of consumers indicated that they either don’t mind or actively enjoy podcast ads. And podcast ads are better received by younger adults, who also happen to be the most frequent listeners.


According to Lisa Risk, SMI’s Podcast Strategist, Podcast’s ability to maintain listeners’ attention is largely due to the power of host-read ads. “I think it’s the relationship between the podcast listener and the podcast host that is the driving force here. Podcast listeners are more engaged to ads largely because they feel connected to the host and there’s a layer of trust there,” Risk said.


DISQO surveyed 34,841 consumers in their audience from April 6 to 8, 2023. Questions focused on podcast utilization (e.g., how often, which platforms, concurrent behaviors), search process (e.g., where they get recommendations, allure of host versus content), and advertising perceptions (e.g., sentiment, attention).

“Driven by its audio-only format, engaged listener base, and host-supported creative, we see fairly compelling evidence that podcast ads command more attention than ads in other digital channels,” the report says. “Approximately one-third of consumers report that they pay more attention to podcast ads compared to other mediums, while only about one-fourth say they pay less relative attention to podcast ads. While this difference isn’t overwhelmingly large, it does suggest that consumers can be more influenced by podcast ads.”


SMI’s Director of Client Services Christina Baeten cautions that, while a good guideline, the numbers in the study are a macro view and shouldn’t be applied at the individual show level. “The stats are generalized by age, gender, and listening habits, and only an agency with extensive history and a results-driven approach to audio advertising knows which shows or hosts meet or exceed performance targets,” Baeten said. “It all has to do with audience engagement. Does the show’s host do personal endorsements or just read talking points? Do their listeners generally engage with the brands they advertise? Are the ads served in an unobtrusive way? A smart agency has these insights at the show level and will make recommendations accordingly for your brand.”

Want to hear SMI’s expert recommendations for growing your brand on podcasts? Find the best strategy for reaching Podcast’s engaged audience. Contact SMI today. 

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