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“Podcasts are commanding higher levels of attention”: Key insights from the Guardian study

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Why podcasts are an “essential addition to any media plan”

Podcasts are growing faster than any other media format. 52% of Guardian podcasts listeners are consuming more of the format than they did a year back, according to a new study. The figure is 41% for the overall population of the UK. 

Source: A world in your ear. Perfect podcast planning

The study was commissioned by the Guardian and conducted by research company Tapestry.  It examines the effectiveness of podcast advertising and is based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,250 adults (including 1,458 Guardian users) in the UK. The findings are presented in the report, “A world in your ear. Perfect podcast planning.”

Other key findings include – podcast listeners tend to be younger than expected. The average age of weekly podcast listeners is 37 years (33 years in the case of the Guardian). In contrast, the average age of weekly radio listeners is 45 years. 

65% of listeners pay attention to podcast ads

Podcasts also promise better advertising revenue potential compared to other content formats as the survey found that they command the highest levels of attention among media channels. 65% of listeners said they pay attention to podcast advertisements, compared to 39% who said the same about TV ads and 38% for radio.

Source: A world in your ear. Perfect podcast planning

This increases the likelihood of listeners buying the product or service being advertised. 51% of the survey participants said ads on podcasts made them want to shop with or buy something from the brand being advertised compared to 38% who said the same for ads on radio. 

Podcasts work brilliantly with other formats

While all media formats are effective in building awareness for the products/brands being advertised, their strengths reside in different stages of the funnel. Podcast ads are most effective in moving the middle and bottom of the funnel metrics. 

They also add value to ads on other channels. “As an intimate and immersive format, podcasts work brilliantly with other formats that perform higher up the funnel – making radio campaigns more thought-provoking, adding trust to display and driving affinity with branded content,” the report states.

Source: A world in your ear. Perfect podcast planning

The publisher’s credibility rubs off on podcast ads. 62% said they found ads on a Guardian branded podcast more informative/interesting compared to 50% who listened to the same ads on an unbranded podcast. Ads on the Guardian podcasts were also perceived to be more memorable and appealing.  

Ocado Retail, the sponsor for the Guardian’s podcast show Comfort Eating, saw an uplift in new customers after advertising on the show. 25% of its customers said they’d listened to the podcast. The company also saw 89% new unique visitors to their website and a 62% increase in positive customer brand perception.

Source: A world in your ear. Perfect podcast planning

“It’s really interesting to see the boost that podcasts provide when the various formats are working together,” says Imogen Fox, Director of Advertising, Guardian News & Media. “The fact that podcasts are commanding higher levels of attention and increase the effectiveness of other formats means they should be an essential addition to any media plan.”

“Culturally of the moment, podcasts are growing faster than any other media channel,” the report states in conclusion. “Which means they’re coming into their own as a broadcast medium. But what they’re really good at is delivering an attentive audience – more than any other format.”

Attention matters because it translates into greater likelihood to buy.

A world in your ear. Perfect podcast planning

The full report can be downloaded here:
A world in your ear. Perfect podcast planning