Podcasts are one of the most popular media formats today. Many people utilize podcasts as a way to jumpstart their career, add on a new feature of it, or start all over again. Podcasts are popular, in part, because the set up is so simple. All you really need is a host, a topic, and a microphone. They feel very intimate. However, podcasts can be challenging to monetize, especially if you launch them completely on your own. Lots of people have podcasts, but few make real money at it. Even the hosts of popular podcasts often have day jobs or do other work on the side.
Research by Nielsen shows that consumers understand the challenges of the format. Research shows that listeners of podcasts tend to be very loyal. They understand that ads are necessary to ensure continued production of the podcasts they love. And they prefer ads where the host is involved. When the host reads the ads, listeners are better able to remember what the product is. They’re also more likely to feel warmly about the product being advertised. Listeners often feel close to the hosts of their favorite podcasts, which means they trust host recommendations on products and services.
By contrast, when ads run before the podcast starts, listeners have more trouble recalling who the sponsor of the content is. Even when they remember what the product is, they don’t feel as good about it. The host’s involvement seems to help tie the product in more closely with the product. The listener already likes the host, which may account for their increased regard for products in host-read ads.
This research also uncovers some similarities between podcast and radio listeners. Radio listeners identify closely with specific hosts and shows. In some cases, they will even follow hosts from one station to another. In radio, it’s long been traditional for hosts to read ads. This type of advertising still happens today and it has always been common with radio.
Nielsen’s research shows that podcast listeners are receptive to ads. When the host reads an ad, listeners are more likely to believe the host uses the product him or herself. Listeners also admit to trying products they hear about for the first time on a podcast they like. Advertisers who aren’t already taking advantage of podcasts may want to consider it. Ads on podcasts are a great way of connecting consumers with products. That’s especially true when the host reads the advertisement.