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Research: Podcast Ads Are Different Than Radio Commercials. The Creative Should Be Too.


Branded podcast studio Pacific Content and Signal Hill Insights teamed up to test how listeners respond to an audio used across all audio platforms, including radio and podcasts. The purpose of the study was to gain insight into the reaction of podcast listeners to the ad that was repurposed from AM/FM to a podcast. It says fewer than 29% of respondents liked the ad, and more than half strongly agreed they would skip it whenever it came on.


In releasing the findings for the undisclosed brand, Pacific Content says the most common complaint about the commercial was that it was “too loud” or “jarring” while listening to a podcast. Others complained that it lacked the “informative” content that they have come to imagine from podcast ads.


“As more brands enter the podcast ad market and take advantage of the reach potential through programmatic or network buys, we’ve seen and heard an increase in repurposing audio ads from radio or streaming music. While this is certainly cost-effective, it may not be audience-effective,” Pacific Content says in a blog post. “Radio ads are designed to grab attention from distracted audiences. Podcast listeners are already deeply engaged. They don’t need to be shouted at – you already have their attention. These two different mediums require two different creative approaches. We felt so certain about this, we decided to put our hypothesis to the test.”

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