Survey Shows How Paid Ads And Social Media Connect With Podcast Listeners.


With the average podcast said to have an average of 27 listeners, there is a wide gap between the biggest and best-known series and what a lot of podcasts are receiving. For podcasters looking to close that gap, fresh data from NuVoodoo shows if they are willing to spend some money, ad-supported digital video channels may be the way to go. Its first quarter Digital Media Study finds that 30% of weekly podcast listeners watch ad-supported television, including 28% that consume that content on a mobile device.


“Nearly a third of weekly podcast listeners spend at least an hour each day with ad supported digital video,” said NuVoodoo cofounder Leigh Jacobs. “That makes digital video marketing a pretty compelling strategy for the creation of brand awareness for podcasts since weekly podcast consumers spend the kind of time on those platforms that really allow commercial messaging to be delivered with robust frequency.”


Three quarters of weekly podcast listeners may use YouTube at least once a day. But for a small, independent show just getting off the ground, spending money on ads is likely not a viable option. Jacobs says social media is “nearly as potent” when driving podcast discovery.

“Just shy of two thirds of the weekly podcast audience can be reached every day with boosted organic posts on Facebook or Instagram, and around three-quarters can be reached daily on the YouTube or Google Apps,” said Jacobs. “Millennials in particular over index significantly, with nearly six in ten relying on friends and social media posts to discover podcasts,” he explained on a video detailing their findings.


NuVoodoo data shows two-thirds of weekly podcast listeners report using Instagram or Facebook at least daily, half do the same for TikTok and Twitter. Some are even more compulsive. The survey data shows about a third of weekly podcast listeners say they use Facebook and Instagram three or more times per day, with roughly 20% using TikTok and Twitter that often.


“We surmise that social media advertising could be like injecting steroids into the organic podcast discovery process since unlike friend recommendations, paid messages can be delivered with a lot of frequency,” said NuVoodoo Executive VP of Marketing Mike O’Connor.


NuVoodoo says podcasters have an advantage over many other brand advertisers hoping to retarget users in digital campaigns. Jacobs says weekly podcast listeners are more likely to allow apps to track their devices and their activity across other websites with 49% opting into tracking often or always. He said that is 18 points higher than the total sample, 58% greater than Gen Z , and more than double the tolerance for tracking exhibited by Gen X. “The podcast audiences higher opt-in rate even exceeds tracking tolerated Millennials by 10 points,” said Jacobs.


The opt-in rates combine with survey results showing the weekly podcast audience is more highly attuned to advertising when compared to its total sample. NuVoodoo says 60% of weekly podcast listeners say they pay at least some attention to advertising across most channels, and NuVoodoo rates how often they engage at four or better on a six-point scale.


“Paid digital retargeting advertising can be an efficient and effective strategy for podcasters, hoping to cross promote a new episode or guest content to an existing user base,” said O’Connor. “But researching messaging that the audience will find valuable rather than invasive or creepy was really the key to maintaining a high opt in rate for both tracking and push notifications.”


The NuVoodoo research is based on an interview of 3,298 survey respondents aged 14 to 54 including 1,498 who said they listen to podcasts each week. Earlier released results show half (49%) of weekly podcast listeners say they regularly listen while driving. That is a bigger number than those who say they listen while at work (40%), doing household chores (36%) or taking public transportation (25%).

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