ADM research notes podcast advertising appeals to “unreachable” consumers

Washington, DC – January 28, 2010 – The Association for Downloadable Media, in conjunction with Edison Research, announced today the findings of its recently concluded Podcast Consumer Attitudes study. Respondents to this online study of active podcast consumers indicated that although they are increasingly turning away from some mass media platforms and advertising approaches, they are receptive to advertising and sponsorship messages in downloadable media. These consumers also show a significant tendency to consume podcasts on their mobile phones, highlighting the importance of the channel as a truly portable medium.

According to Edison Research Vice President Tom Webster, “A podcast advertising buy is not a redundant media buy for advertisers and marketers. These are attractive, affluent consumers that mass media is losing.” He also notes, “Ninety percent of these respondents indicated that they had taken some kind of action as a result of podcast advertising or sponsorship, and over 40% reported purchasing behaviors, which indicates that they are receptive to the right message, in the right context.”

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ADM Chairman, Chris MacDonald stated, “This study reinforces what the ADM has always believed, that podcasts and downloadable media provide valuable and effective options to reaching the otherwise unreachable, in ways that work for the consumer.” He goes on to say, “It’s obvious that an online or offline audio or video buy that does not include a podcasting component will miss a very attractive advertising target.”

Other findings of this study included the following:

Nearly 80% of these podcast consumers agreed that “when price and quality is equal,” they “prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor” the podcasts they regularly enjoy.

37% of these respondents expressed some positive sentiment about advertising in the podcasts they regularly listen to or watch, compared to only 6% positive sentiment expressed for the advertising approaches of television or commercial radio.

In fact, 78% of these respondents agreed (and 21% agreed strongly) that their opinion of a company is more positive when they hear it mentioned in one of the podcasts they regularly enjoy.

In addition, 72% of these respondents were at least somewhat receptive to sponsorship messages in the podcasts they regularly enjoy, with 5% indicating that they are generally “interested in them and/or often find them useful.” When sponsorship or advertising messages are read by the host(s) of the podcasts themselves, again 72% are receptive, but 20% indicate that those messages are generally interesting and useful.

Presentation materials and a full report are available at www.downloadablemedia.org and www.edisonresearch.com.

Survey Methodology

Respondents in this online survey were recruited using audio/video messages embedded in podcasts from some of the leading aggregators of downloadable media, including NPR, Wizzard, RawVoice and Revison3, during the 4th quarter of 2009. Interviews were conducted from 10/20 to 11/16, with a final tally of 4,787 completed surveys. Raw results from the survey were weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the U.S. audience for audio and video podcasts, as reported from nationally representative data sourced from the 17th Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Study (2009) and The Podcast Consumer Revealed (2009).

About the Association for Downloadable Media

The Association for Downloadable Media is focused on providing standards for advertising and audience measurement for episodic and downloadable media. The organization’s constituents include individual podcasters, media companies, publishers, syndication companies and distributors offering downloadable media, advertising agencies, marketers, technology suppliers, hardware and software manufacturers of portable media products and services, market research firms and audience and advertising effectiveness measurement companies. Through our volunteer membership, we provide leadership in and organization of advertising and audience measurement standards, research, education and advocacy to all those involved in portable media (Podcasts/ATOM/RSS media enclosures) across the Internet, iPods, MP3 players, mobile devices, P2P and other upcoming platforms.

About Edison Research

Edison Research is a global leader in market and consumer research for businesses and media organizations worldwide, and has been the sole provider of exit poll information to the six major news organizations –ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press–since 2003. As part of this effort, Edison has conducted exit polls and collected precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major primary and the general elections in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Edison provides companies with custom research solutions to measure audience, effectiveness and other key metrics of marketing and advertising campaigns. They are, along with Arbitron, the co-authors of the widely-quoted Internet and Multimedia Research Series, now in its 18th iteration.

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