Though not as measurable, podcasts offer a highly-engaged audience.
Last week, Google launched Google Podcast Manager in an effort to provide more insight into the evolving habits of podcast listeners on Google and Android devices. The tool will provide data on listening duration, minutes played, as well as what device users are using to access shows across phones, tablets, desktop computers, and smart speakers.
Spotify rolled out similar features last year, taking it a step further by providing some demographic data, and Apple Music has had analytics available since 2017. Google is late to the party, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Even with these added features, the biggest hurdle for advertisers and publishers alike is access to granular listener data.
That doesn’t mean there’s not a strong case to be made for advertising. There are over 105 million monthly podcast listeners in the US, and that number is projected to grow steadily through 2024 (eMarketer). Podcast listeners are also highly-engaged. Deep trust and credibility are associated with the format, and by nature listeners tend to hang on every word. A second report from eMarketer notes that 30 percent of daily listeners have purchased something after hearing a sponsored ad. Host-read ads are particularly effective, giving the product added endorsement.
Another consideration is the relationship between podcasts and pop culture. People identify strongly with podcasts, and value the knowledge and conversation-starters they provide. Due to their popularity, podcasts tend to capitalize on TV shows, movies, and popular events - offering a range of audiences new ways to consume content on topics they’re already interested in.
It’s certainly worth utilizing the analytical tools available, along with other strategies to segment audiences based on programming and data directly from publishers. The push for better analytics signifies a broader commitment to providing the granular data available on other media. In the meantime, podcasts are still a fruitful option for advertisers and publishers alike.