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Podcasts have evolved into a mainstream medium whose hit shows have the jaw-dropping ability to reach millions of podcast listeners, as was the subject of our Weekly Insights email last week. Popular shows are healthy for a creator-first ecosystem because they can attract new listeners as well as new advertisers seeking to reach the masses. But it is podcasting’s historical ability to intimately reach niche audiences and effectively deliver advertising results that can get brands to stay.
The digital medium’s performance record in ad efficiency is demonstrated no better than by the increasing number of consumers who buy products when they hear about them on podcasts.
According to, Edison Podcast Metrics, the only comprehensive measurement of podcast listening, just under half (46%) of U.S. weekly podcast listeners say they have ever purchased a product or service as a result of hearing a podcast advertisement — a measurement that has rapidly increased from 34% in 2020 when the study began. Note, Edison Podcast Metrics did not begin interviewing 13–17-year-olds until 2022, therefore the trended data below is among adult listeners for a cleaner comparison.
Naturally, the longer an ad-supported medium exists, the more people will say it has helped connect them with a product they may have never connected with were it not for podcasts. The aptitude for delivering such purchases isn’t only reserved for big shows.
By advertising on podcasting’s long tail, brands can harness the power to expose their product to audiences who have as much affinity as the big-show audiences for choosing to purchase a brand they hear on podcasts.
44% of the U.S. podcast audience who do not listen to shows within the top 1,000 have ever purchased a product as a result of hearing it on the medium, similar to the rate (47%) of U.S. podcast listeners to shows in the top 1,000 who say the same.
It’s crucial for advertisers to note 19% of the U.S. Weekly Podcast audience, which translates to 17 million listeners, does not listen to a show in the top 1,000. Podcasting’s advertising effectiveness for said listeners can be unlocked exclusively through the gateway of smaller shows, shows that tend to be more flexible financially and creatively when working with marketers as well as more precise when reaching specific demographics and targets.
Join us next Thursday, June 15 at 2pm EDT for the results of a groundbreaking study on Gen Z podcast listeners, with sponsor SXM Media. See videos of Gen Z podcast listeners sharing their audio habits and how they interact with podcasts Click here to register