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Neuroscience Study Finds Podcasts Outscore Other Media And Extend Lift Of Social Media Ads.


A new neuroscience study on how the brain reacts to podcast listening is delivering fresh evidence for why podcast advertising works. The study, conducted by Australia Radio Network’s Neurolab, used cutting-edge neuroscience and sensor technology to understand what happens to the brain when we listen to podcasts, and how the changes influence behavior. It shows podcasts garner 44% more mental availability than other digital channels, with advertising also viewed to be 30% more trustworthy when heard on podcasts rather than when seen on social platforms.


The close personal listening experience also enables podcasts to garner significantly more listener attention, with an increase of 67% compared to the attention levels seen for other digital media. Overall, ARN’s Neurolab says podcast listening was found to develop better memories than other digital channels.


“This Neurolab study demonstrates both at a brain and behavioral level that podcasts provide an exceptional audio space for uninterrupted cut-through, with the added advantage of nurturing existing consumer relations and fostering new connections,” said Dr. Tribikram Thapa, ARN’s Research & Neuroscience Specialist. “As a result, businesses should consider podcasts in the mix at a creative and campaign level to further brand image, increase brand connectivity and improve brand salience,” he said in an audio presentation about the findings.


The study also showed how well audio can work when it is paired with social media advertising. ARN’s Neurolab says its data shows social campaigns experience an 83% uplift when the ads are first exposed to someone in an audio format.


Based on the study, titled “Intimacy Never Sounded So Good,” ARN’s Neurolab has three recommendations for advertisers looking to make deeper connections with listeners. They include putting a focus on intimacy, with host-read ads among the best options. It says businesses should consistently implement a human voice as part of their digital strategy to get closer to audiences, and that impact is amplified if the voice is familiar to them since it allows advertisers to capitalize on emotional triggers brought on by the familiarity of a talent’s voice.


The team also says that brands can benefit by using more post-roll advertising, which it says benefits from the high levels of memory encoding and retrieval during podcasts. And it says that pairing a podcast ad with a visual component on social media also helps open the door to the total campaign being remembered and connected.


ARN is iHeartMedia’s podcast partner in Australia. They jointly launched the iHeartRadio app in the market in 2013 and then debuted the iHeartPodcast Network Australia in 2020. Triton Digital has consistently ranked it as the top podcast publisher in the country.

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