The podcast audience in the US continues to expand, with 62% of Americans ages 12 and older reporting having listened to a podcast. This audience appears to be an attractive one for marketers, according to a new Nielsen report [download page].
The report cites data from a Nielsen Custom Consumer Sentiment Study in March 2022 showing that podcast listeners are more likely than the population at-large to be planning to make a range of major purchases in the coming year.
For example, 44% of podcast listeners plan to purchase a new technology for their home or office, compared to 36% of the general population. Furthermore, podcast listeners show an above-average likelihood to purchase a new home entertainment system (37% vs. 25%), purchase/lease a new/used vehicle (34% vs. 27%), buy a major appliance (32% vs. 25%) and purchase one or more financial products (25% vs. 17%), among others.
Research from MarketingCharts [purchase page] also shows that the podcast audience is appealing, this time from a demographic angle. The data reveals that the podcast audience profiles as younger and more affluent than other digital media audiences including downloaded/streaming video viewers and internet radio listeners.
Meanwhile, Nielsen’s report indicates that podcast listeners are resuming pre-COVID activities at a greater rate than the population at-large, including attending in-person gatherings, shopping at stores for non-grocery items, dining out at restaurants, visiting coffee shops/cafes, and shopping for clothes at a store/department store.
Podcast Listening, Content Options on the Rise
Podcast listeners are fairly new to this activity, per the report, with about half (51%) first having started listening in the past 2 years. It appears they’re tuning in more over time, too. Some 56% say that their frequency of podcast listening has increased over the past 2 years, while 52% say that the number of podcasts they listen to has grown over that time.
They’re certainly finding more content to choose from. Gracenote Audio on Demand data shows that podcast audiences can now choose from 2.1 million podcast series that collectively account for 91.9 million episodes. That’s approaching triple the number from just two years ago: in February 2020 there were about 800,000 series and 33.6 million episodes to choose from.
Podcast Ads Drive Brand Awareness Lift
Marketers looking to reach podcast listeners will be buoyed by data demonstrating ad effectiveness, particularly at the top of the funnel. According to Nielsen Podcast Ad Effectiveness data, these ads fuel a 14% point lift in brand awareness and a 7% point lift in information seeking. Considering that marketers say that their main objective this year is improving brand awareness, podcast ads might be worth a close look.
Auto advertisers in particular fare well, per the report. Auto ads were found to have an unaided recall of 53%, the highest of 7 industry categories tested. (This means that 53% of listeners recalled the auto brand after hearing the ad during a podcast.) Auto ads also raised brand affinity by 7% points and information seeking intent by 8% points.
Another sector that appears to enjoy strong benefits from podcast advertising is the tech industry, as tech ads have generated strong aided recalls, affinity lift, and info seeking intent lift. Moreover, about 7 in 10 podcast listeners agree that tech ads have a good brand fit.
For more on podcast audiences and advertising, download the study here.