Podcast Ads Perform Better Than Other Digital Ads, Research Finds

According to surveys conducted by Nielsen

A study found that podcast ads were more effective than digital ads. Getty
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A listener can remember the brands and products heard on an ad featured on a podcast, according to a series of Nielsen studies commissioned by Midroll, the advertising sector of Stitcher, a podcast company. Nielsen’s surveys look at the effectiveness of eight national brands that placed ads this year.

The surveys collected data on how well listeners were able to recall, purchase and recommend a product after listening to the product or brand’s ad on a podcast.

In all, 7,100 adults aged 18 to 64 were surveyed online after listening to a clip of a podcast episode. Half of those respondents were shown an ad in the mid-roll position of the clip, while a control group didn’t hear an ad. They were surveyed afterward to measure lift.

The studies found that 61 percent of consumers who heard the ads were likely to purchase that product, compared to 56 percent of listeners who didn’t hear an ad.

Furthermore, the studies found podcasts generate up to 4.4 times better brand recall than display ads, including scroll, static and pop-up ads on other digital media platforms.

“This shift underscores the power of podcasts to speak to a generation of consumers who tend to be hard to reach through other digital media platforms,” said Stitcher CRO Korri Kolesa in a prepared statement. “This, coupled with what we know about messaging, allows Midroll to partner with brands to develop a highly resonant message and in turn, to work with the host to ensure it is well-integrated to reach its target audience.”

The number of podcast listeners continues to rise. In 2017, 40 percent of Americans 12 and older said they had listened to a podcast before, up 4 percentage points in year. And 24 percent said they had done so in the past month, an increase of 3 percentage points from the year prior, according to the Pew Research Center.

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.