News publishers need podcasts for these 7 (advertising) reasons

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


Here are my top seven reasons to get into the podcasting world from a new revenue and relationship development point of view with our advertisers:

1. Podcasts are a very targeted medium: There are podcasts on every imaginable topic, so advertisers can easily find podcasts that reach their target audience. Media covers such a broad church of subjects — from news to fashion, gaming to crosswords, sports to weather, etc. There are many opportunities here if we want to see them.

2. Podcast listeners are highly engaged: They are typically paying close attention to the content they are listening to, which means they are more likely to notice and remember any of our advertiser ads.

3. Podcasts offer a personal and intimate listening experience: This makes them a great platform for advertisers to build relationships with potential customers.

4. Podcast listeners are loyal: People who listen to podcasts tend to be loyal to the shows they enjoy. This means that they are more likely to hear an ad or sponsorship tag line multiple times, which, of course, can help to increase brand awareness and ad recall.

Podcasts offer multiple positives for news publishers.
Podcasts offer multiple positives for news publishers.

5. Podcast listeners are usually more affluent: Studies have shown podcast listeners tend to be more affluent (see below) than the general population. This means they are more likely to be able to afford the products and services that are being advertising.

(A U.S. study by Edison Research found 45% of podcast listeners have a household income over US$250,000, compared to 24% of the general population. Also, a study by Nielsen found podcast listeners are more likely to be college graduates and to have a more professional occupation than the general population. Finally, a study by Chartbeat found podcast listeners are more likely to be interested in luxury brands and to spend more money on discretionary items than the general population.)

6. Podcast advertising is cost-effective: The cost of advertising on a podcast can be very affordable, especially compared to other forms of advertising, such as television and radio, and from a publisher perspective can help finance any podcast dalliance.

7. Podcast advertising is measurable: You can track the effectiveness of your podcast advertising by measuring things like click-through rates, conversion rates, geographical listener data, and brand awareness.

Overall, podcast advertising can be an effective way to reach a targeted audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales for our advertisers — especially if they are our own podcasts.

Podcasts footnote: Who are podcast listeners?

The research highlighted above together point out interesting facts:

  • 50% of Americans between 12 and 34 years old surveyed listened to a podcast in the last month.
  • 40% of those under age 55 listen monthly.
  • 67% of podcasts produce an audience between the ages of 18 and 44.
  • 50% of monthly U.S. podcast listeners are aged between 12-34, 43% between 35 and 54 years old, and 22% are aged over 55.

Additional tips for media sales teams 

  • Help your advertisers choose the right podcast: Not all podcasts are created equal. When choosing a podcast to advertise on, make sure it is relevant to their target audience and has a good audio following.
  • Tailor your client’s ad/sponsorship to the podcast:The best podcast ads are tailored to the specific podcast they are being played on. Take the time to understand the podcast’s audience and what the advertiser’s customers would be interested in hearing about.
  • Ensure the client makes any ads creatively engaging: People are more likely to pay attention to ads that are creative and engaging. Suggest/use humour, storytelling, or other techniques to make your client’s attachment valued and stand out from the crowd. 
  • Track the results: As mentioned above, it is important to track the results of your podcast advertising campaign, thus helping you determine which are most effective and make necessary adjustments to your client’s campaign. Unique insights only you can collate and will therefore be seen as highly valued by the advertiser.
  • Drive sales and leads: Podcasts can also be used to drive sales and leads. For example, an advertiser could sponsor a discount code to your listeners or include a link to their landing page in the ad. This could encourage listeners to visit the sponsor’s Web site and learn more about their products or services.

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About Mark Challinor

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