There was a time that some ad reps positioned radio as a complement to television. But podcasting continues to change those conversations, as audio has become a hot medium and listening has soared. The latest evidence comes from the Video Advertising Bureau, which this week positioned podcasting as a complement to TV.
“Audio podcasts have become more popular over the last few years as consumers seek out more entertainment and informational content. By understanding how and when people are engaging with audio podcasts, marketers can leverage the platform for incremental opportunities to engage consumers during traditionally ‘non-video viewing’ occasions,” says the VAB in a just-released analysis.
Podcasting is more than just buzz. The VAB points to Magna survey data showing one in four (24%) Americans say they have increased their podcast listening during the pandemic. The same survey also shows half (48%) are watching more TV shows online. The Magna survey also reports more than a third (35%) of those surveyed expect to listen to even more podcasts in 2021. That is roughly the same number that expect to watch more TV online.
But rather than seeing podcasting as a rival, the VAB is positioning the audio option as more of a peanut butter to its jelly. “Primetime has a different meaning for each platform as TV and podcast consumption skews towards different times, allowing marketers to engage with audiences across these platforms throughout the day,” the report says.
The biggest daypart for podcast listening is 10am to 3pm, during which a third of all listening occur according to Edison Research’s Share of Ear study. Just 15% happens during the 7pm-12mid daypart when television viewing is at its strongest. Nielsen says the 7pm-12mid daypart is when 36% of TV viewing occurs.
The VAB also points out that 40% of all podcast listening takes place outside the home. It says that provides markets with “incremental opportunities to reach consumers away from their living room.”
The report does take a few whacks at podcasting. It also notes that a third of people say they listen to podcasts while doing household chores and 27% listen while commuting. “People often listen to podcasts while involved in other activities both inside and out of the home which can lead to more passive engagement,” it says.
Nevertheless, the VAB says adding podcast buys to a media schedule that includes television can help get ad message through. “While TV drives outcomes throughout the entire funnel, adding podcasts to the media mix can build consideration and purchase intent,” its report says.
That is especially true on metrics like improving brand awareness and recall and improving brand preference scores. An Advertising Perceptions study found podcasts are especially well suited in those areas. But podcasting is not just a so-called “upper funnel” tool. The same Advertising Perceptions study found that podcasts and television were on equal footing when it comes to improving consideration and buying intent.
“While audio podcast usage is growing among consumers, it typically serves as a complement to video viewing rather than a replacement, allowing audiences to access more content across platforms at different times, places and ‘use’ occasions,” the VAB report concludes. “Due to the different roles each platform plays within audiences’ media consumption habits, audio podcasts create incremental opportunities for marketers to reach and engage consumers during ‘non-video viewing’ occasions.”