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Study Finds Potential Audience Of 106 Million For Branded Podcasts.

There are as many people in the U.S. interested in listening to a branded podcast as live in Canada and the U.K. That is according to new research that shows 106 million Americans aged 18 and older who say they are either very or somewhat likely to listen to a branded podcast. That represents about four in ten adults, according to a report released by Sounds Profitable and Signal Hill Insights.

“We are talking about a large subset of people that are passionate enough about at least one brand, and probably more, that they would be interested in hearing some content about,” said Tom Webster, a partner at Sounds Profitable.

For brands that produce podcasts, the study shows there may be good reasons not to hide the company’s involvement. Half of those surveyed said they are more likely to listen to a show if they know it is produced by the brand itself. That includes 17% who said they are much more likely to listen to a show.

“For brand fans, corporate involvement in a podcast is a welcome development,” Webster said Wednesday during a presentation of the survey findings. “Official brand involvement might register as a mark of quality or an endorsement of the content in a way that a fan-produced podcast might not,” he said.

Who Are Branded Podcast Listeners?

Brand fans tend to skew younger, but their other demographic characteristics largely align with the population overall, although Blacks and Hispanics over-index as brand fans. Still, the data shows marketers can find brand fans in all walks of life. The data also shows that nearly half of brand fans are weekly consumers of podcasts.

“They're definitely active consumers of podcasting, so they're very easy to get,” Webster said. “They're likely people that are listening to five or six different podcasts a week – they’re not just there for one show, or one particular podcast.”

The number of brand fans that have never listened to a podcast is 11%. Webster said that group has a “young-ish lean” but he also pointed out that a quarter of brand fans aged 55 and older have not listened to a podcast.

“There are so many brands and products that have passionate followings with older Americans that could be a way for that brand to extend their relationship with those fans and potentially become a way to introduce podcasting itself,” he said.

Open To Limited-Run Series

The survey also finds that brand fans are more open to shows that release episodes on a less regular cadence. Six in ten said they have listened to a podcast that releases podcasts occasionally, and 45% said they listened to limited-run series. That is important since branded shows are more likely to be limited series.

Webster said that brand fans tend to be “more evangelistic” about the shows they are listening to. The data shows brand fans are 15% more likely to say that they listen to podcasts with other people. And among those surveyed, 16% said they frequently listen to a podcast with others, which brings at least an additional 1.5 people to a listening occasion.

“Brand fans are natural evangelists for both brands and for podcasting in general,” Webster said. “They're significantly more likely to recommend podcasts to others, and they're far more receptive to recommendations themselves than the average podcast listener.”

Video Leads Discovery

YouTube is by far the number one source of podcast discovery for fans of branded shows. This group was 50% more likely to say they had listened to a podcast that was available on a video streaming platform.

“A video component likely improves the podcasts’ ability to reach brand fans,” Webster said. “A video for these listeners is a key driver for both discovery and for usage. And even brand fans who don't listen to podcasts cite a preference for video as the number one reason why they haven't yet tried the medium.”

The study is based on data collected in May and June by Sounds Profitable and Signal Hill Insights among 974 respondents who indicated they were “very” or “somewhat” likely to listen to a podcast about a favorite brand or product. Download the full report HERE.

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