Host-read podcast ads outperform non-host-read ads on brand recall as well as other key marketing metrics, according to recent data from Nielsen. Sourced from more than 260 Nielsen surveys, the new figures explore the importance of podcast ad type. Here’s a roundup of the results as well as some key insights into podcast ads from previous research.
Notwithstanding the global pandemic and resultant increase in time consumers spent with media, podcasts continue to grow in popularity in the US. According to data from Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power service, the US podcast listener base has grown at a 20% CAGR since 2014, with projections that it will double by 2023.
Not only that, but a large driver of this audience growth is adults ages 25-44, which Nielsen notes is a key buying demographic. Nearly 30% of this influential age group listen to podcasts.
With such a sizable audience, brands will be eager to choose the right ad-type. Compared to non-host-read ads, ads read by hosts appear to perform particularly well when it comes to brand recall, with Nielsen’s Podcast Ad Effectiveness survey attributing host-read podcast ads a brand recall of 71%, compared to 62% for non-host-read ads.
Host-read ads were also found to outperform non-host-read ads on several key marketing metrics. Most notably, they were found to produce some 60% higher intent to seek info among listeners (8% vs. 5%), a 50% higher intent to purchase (6% vs. 4%) and 50% higher recommendation intent (6% vs. 4%). Additionally, host-read ads produced 67% higher affinity (5% vs. 3%), and 33% higher familiarity (4% vs. 3%) than non-host-read.
Other Podcast Insights
- According to IAB and PwC research from August 2020, host-read ads also reigned supreme in 2019, accounting for two-thirds of podcast ad revenue over the year. When it comes to ad placement, mid-roll ads were favored, generating 74% of ad revenue.
- Podcast ads were not unaffected by COVID-19, with the above research highlighting an expected 11.5% revenue decline as a result of the pandemic. Podcast advertisers have also experienced canceled campaigns, as well as an increase in mission-based and cause-related marketing in creative messaging.
- In terms of how ads are performing, Podsights research from September 2020 found the average conversion rate across 500 campaigns studied to be 1.13%. The Retail industry stands out as a top performer in this regard with a conversion rate of 3.36%, while the Human Resources industry saw a conversion rate of just 0.04%.
- IAB and PwC research from 2019 traced the growth in popularity of dynamically inserted ads (pre-recorded and inserted into the podcast through an ad server) compared to baked-in ads (part of the published podcast content). Though the latter accounted for the majority (51.2%) of podcast ads, 2019 saw the former increase its share from 41.7% to 48.8%.
- Past research indicates that listeners felt that advertisements read by the podcast host were considered to be more authentic and believable.
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About the Data: Findings are based on more than 260 surveys across 240 brands.