“The Podcast Opportunity” reveals buy-side planning, requirements, and experiences (Sounds Profitable)

Sounds Profitable has released a data+interview report (The Podcast Opportunity) which explores buyer perceptions of podcast advertising. With a rich mix of survey data and qualitative interviews with agencies and brands, this project delivers a holistic understanding of podcast advertiser habits, preferences, and perceptions. This article shares a small fraction of the contained knowledge; downloading if recommended (it’s free).

A few touch points of the surveyed community:

  • 70% buying or planning to buy podcast ads in 2023.
  • 45% allocate more than 20% of their budgets to podcast advertising
  • 81% comfortable with brand safety / 75% comfortable with targeting tools — also more engaging and justifiable


“It’s difficult for brands to walk in the footsteps of Athletic Greens, Manscaped, BetterHelp, and other brands that have made their names clear in podcast advertising. There is a limited inventory on shows and there are limited shows that work for particular types of brands and products.”


In many cases this study separates agency and advertiser responses, and it gets interesting. For example, one question asks participants about the importance of different factors when choosing where to advertise. As seen below, “Quality of ad creative” is most important — but much more from the agency viewpoint than for advertisers who value the availability of audience targeting.


Likewise, a range of factors contribute to the criteria brands consider when planning podcast advertising:




Just as there are different opinions about evaluation criteria, there are differing opinions about effectiveness. In that graph (not replicated here), there is a wide spread of assessment across all the criteria.

The study wraps up with several “Observations and Action Steps,” extracted from both the data and the interviews. Among them:

  • Podcasting needs to reintroduce itself; many brand marketers are unaware of recent advances in podcast ad tech.
  • Experienced buyers are frustrated with current tools.
  • Need for more sharing between publishers, agencies, and brands around performance metrics.
  • Brand protection solutions are needed for some advertisers.


We cannot overemphasize the range and depth of understanding this study delivers across 59 slides — both survey metrics and quotes from qualitative interviews. We strongly recommend downloading this package. Do it HERE.

Brad Hill