By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Until the pandemic travel kibosh, I spent lots of time in conference rooms and on sales calls with station reps. And attending the presentation for “Super Listeners 2020: Podcasting’s Best Customers,” I felt the same mojo, if virtual. The podcast pitch writes itself.
Super Listeners 2020: Podcasting’s Best Customers
This is the second annual survey by Edison Research, partnered with PodcastOne and sponsored by Ad Results Media.
All along, we’ve seen how data makes the case that podcasting – once a hobby – has attained mainstream media status. Quick refresher:
- Just last week, Spotify’s Dawn Ostroff keynoted CNBC’s Evolve webcast series: “The Evolution of Content & Consumption.” Read my short version: https://www.talkers.com/2020/12/07/monday-memo-podcastings-prime-time/
- The recent Edison/NPR “Spoken Word Audio Report” quantifies how listener behaviors and preferences have changed in the last six years. Download: https://www.nationalpublicmedia.com/insights/reports/the-spoken-word-audio-report/
- And on his show, Jim Bohannon and I discussed how broadcasters’ skill set advantages us in the podcast arena. Hear an excerpt: http://getonthenet.com/Podcasting-NumbersGame.mp3
WHO ARE the “super listeners” advertisers have found elusive until now?
- Edison conducted 1,000 interviews with people who listened to at least five hours of podcasts per week.
- Weekly podcast Time Spent Listening is up from 9.8 to 10.5 hours in just a year. This is these users’ preferred audio medium.
- And growth among radio’s 55+ true “money demo” is notable: 20% surveyed fall-into this heavy-user category (14% just a year ago). But the real story is how podcast advertising is received.
Reaching the “Unreachables.”
Ad Results Media’s Marshall Williams described consumers his clients have been struggling to reach. They’re video cord-cutters and prefer ad-free audio. And results his advertisers are seeing demonstrate podcast listeners to be “incredibly sticky and incredibly responsive.”
PodcastOne founder and CEO – and legacy network radio exec — Norm Pattiz crows that “Everything we thought would happen in the podcast world is in fact happening.” Among the data making the case, those surveyed agree that:
- “Your opinion of a company is more positive when you hear it mentioned on a podcast you regularly listen to: 49% (44% in 2019).
- “You believe that the hosts of podcasts you regularly listen to are actual users of the products/services mentioned on their podcasts:” 45% (41% a year ago).
- “When price and quality are equal, you prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor the podcasts you regularly listen to:” 46% (43%)
- “You appreciate podcast advertisers for supporting your favorite podcasts:” 64% (60%)
- “Advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach you:” 49% (37%).
Because “people are rarely positive about advertising,” Edison’s Tom Webster spots obvious opportunity.
Technique is everything.
We know how – properly executed – endorsement spots improve radio advertising results. On-steroids in podcasts. Responses to “What is your opinion of podcast advertising that uses…?”
- “Personalized discussions about products or sponsors by podcast hosts(s):” Very Favorable 23% + Somewhat Favorable 28% = 51%
- “Messages from advertisers that are read live by podcast host(s):” Very Favorable 22% + Somewhat Favorable 29% = 51%
- “Sponsorship messages:” Very Favorable 21% + Somewhat Favorable 27% = 48%
- “Pre-recorded ads not read by the host:” Very Favorable 16% + Somewhat Favorable 20% = 36%
If you have no choice but to use pre-recorded ads, Norm Pattiz recommends teeing-up the spot by saying
“These are the folks who allow us to bring you this podcast free.”
Those are my notes. Here’s the whole thing: https://www.edisonresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Super-Listeners-2020.pdf
Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America. Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke