Not only are the audiences growing, they are receptive and responsive to the ads they hear while listening. A recent study on podcast “super listeners” discovered that 48% of listeners pay more attention to podcast ads than any other media and that 71% of those surveyed say they never, rarely, or only sometimes skip the ads they hear while listening. The study also found 54% of respondents are more likely to purchase a product after hearing an ad for it on a podcast, up from 46% in 2019.
There are a few surface-level reasons for this acceptance. Firstly, most podcasting platforms are free to use and audiences understand they trade the ad for the content. Then, there is the fact that most listeners tune in while doing other activities – driving, cleaning, walking, etc. Their hands are not typically free during these activities so they are more likely to listen through the ad. This is unlike many other ad formats that are easy to scroll by or tap the skip button.
The primary reason audiences are receptive and responsive to podcast advertising, however, is trust and authenticity. Listeners often feel like the host is directly speaking to them. Before the introduction of DAIs, hosts read all podcast ads. Because podcasts tend to attract highly engaged, niche audiences, the hosts became their own breed of influencer. They make trusted recommendations to their highly connected listeners. This has set the stage for advertising to natively work its way into the expected user experience. Host-read spots are still the most highly trusted advertising spot in podcasting, but they have conditioned podcast listeners in general to be more receptive to advertising.