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As podcasts run more ads, listener attidues remain mostly favorable (Edison Research)

In a new study from Edison Research, supported by content and sales network PodcastOne, and digital ad ad rep firm Ad Results Media, podcast “Super Listeners” were queried about their feelings about, and responses to, podcast advertising. The results are mostly favorable, with year-over-year rises in key favorability answers compared to a year-ago survey.

The results of Super Listeners 2020 were presented in a webinar today.

In this work, Super Listeners are defined as playing five or more hours of podcasts per week. In reality, the average time spent on podcasts in this study is 9.8 hours.

Listeners basically accept podcast ads, and report that podcast advertising is a good way for brands and products to get their attention. This goes for listeners’ opinions of brands, and likelihood to purchase — especially when the advertising is on shows that super listeners regularly play.

About a third of respondents say that host-read ads get their attention better than other types.

Following are Edison’s summary points from the study:

Advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach Super Listeners.

  • Almost half, 49 percent, of podcast Super Listeners agree that “Advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach you.” This finding was up from 37 percent in 2019 – the biggest mover in the survey. Podcast Super Listeners are exposed to the most amount of podcast advertising and provide invaluable insight as to how ads are perceived in podcasts.
  • Over half, 54 percent, of Super Listeners, said that hearing an ad on a podcast (compared to other places) makes them more likely to purchase a product, up from 46 percent from last year.

Super Listeners are noticing an increase in the number of commercials and ad breaks.

  • Fifty-six percent of podcast Super Listeners believe that the number of ads in podcasts are going up, compared with 49 percent who said the same thing last year.
  • The study also found an increase in those who believe there are “too many” ads in podcasts, 38 percent of respondents felt this way, compared with 24 percent last year.
  • In addition, 41 percent of podcast Super Listeners believe that ad breaks are getting longer, compared to 35 percent last year. Self-reported ad-skipping behavior, however, did not increase substantially.

While quantity and length of ad breaks increase, the positive impact of podcast advertising continues to rise year-over-year.

Testament to the positive impact of podcast advertising is seen in the percentage increase of Super Listeners that agree with the following statements:

  • “Your opinion of a company is more positive when you hear it mentioned on one of the podcasts you regularly listen to” increased from 44 percent in 2019 to 49 percent in 2020.
  • “When price and quality are equal, you prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor the podcasts you regularly listen to” increased from 43 percent in 2019 to 46 percent in 2020.
  • “You pay more attention to advertising on podcasts than on other forms of media” increased to from 44 percent in 2019 to 48 percent in 2020.

Host-read ads provide tremendous value.

  • Thirty-three percent of Super Listeners say they pay more attention to host-read ads than other types of ads in podcasts.

Super Listeners are consuming more podcast content than ever before.

  • In last year’s survey, Super Listeners reported consuming an average of 9.8 hours of podcasts per week, this year the average increased to 10.5 hours per week.

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Brad Hill

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