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In October 2022, I gave a version of what follows as a speech to the IAB Podcast Upfronts (you can watch it here). By the number of phones popping up and the response afterwards, it went really well. So here are the five reasons WHY you should build your own Podcast:
This isn’t advertising in its traditional sense. We’re not disrupting your day with an ad. Your audience is choosing to spend time and escape with your brand. And 90% of them are wearing headphones.
Recent research from Spotify has shown that digital audio (i.e. audio that you’ve chosen to listen to) is over 25% more engaging, more memorable, more emotionally intense and more likely to be be recalled in detail than broadcast radio.
66% thought there was too much visual stimulation in this world and that audio was a nice way to escape from it.
This is backed up by the Guardian in a separate study, it’s the fastest growing medium and it’s the medium with the MOST attention - 65% vs 39% for TV.
A typical podcast lasts about 26 minutes, so this isn’t a 10 second Instagram reel. It’s proper immersion on your mobile, not doomscrolling.
And Brands fit into podcasts, 93% pay attention to the brand. Acast also tell us it’s the 2nd most trusted source of information after influencers.
And.. it’s upmarket - 64% of listeners are more likely to be business decision makers than the general population. They’re twice as likely to be early tech adopters and 45% more likely to be graduates.
Podcasting can sit at the heart of your content channels as detailed, contextual, immersive content, complementing your other social channels which are more throwaway and snackable. It’s a sit-down meal of your brand.
Let’s look at this through a lens of what is actually happening when you buy a TV ad, at a proper human level. You’re actually buying a host of slightly distracted eyeballs.
Eye tracking research from Lumen tells us that a 30 second TV ad only actually sees 46% of people actually watching it. So only 13.8 seconds of that carefully edited TV ad.
This is compared to 71% average listen-through rate of a typical podcast. And remember we’re talking minutes here, not seconds. Here’s what we see with a typical graph from Spotify for Podcasters:
So I like comparing podcasts and TV through a “cost per minute of attention” metric. Budget/ minutes actually consumed.
Podcasts you get better quality attention and better value too.
I’ve used ITV rate card for a daytime 30” slot against All Adults, and assumed you spend the same again on creative - the cost is £15k (very generous to the Ad Agency). This Morning has an average audience, according to BARB, of 1 million people. So you’re reaching 1 million slightly distracted people - some of whom have gone to have a cup of tea or are looking at their phones. If you apply the 13.8 seconds, i.e. 46% attention of a TV ad, then you get 230k minutes of attention.
I’ve applied the same sum to another one of our podcasts: £91k cost, 117k downloads, 12 x 30 mins episodes, 71% average listen through rate of each episode, gets you 1.9M minutes of attention.
So 6.5p vs 4p Cost Per Minute of Attention
Put simply, the traditional ad model of disrupting your scrolling or your viewing with a brand message has an enormous amount of wastage built in. Brands spend millions to get millions of people to look up from their phones or to watch to the end of a Facebook ad. Great for novelty and awareness, less good for consideration or long term brand value.
Podcasts are a long term game. You’re asking audiences to choose you rather than disrupting. You’re building a proper thing, not renting an audience for a campaign. You’re part of and helping to form a daily ritual, of me time, rather than disturbing it.
You can really create a voice for your brand, work with talent and experts centred around an activity that is low effort and high value for them.
So what’s happening with all that attention? Without being the BFG and seeing ear’s pointing in the direction of the sound, what clues does science give us?
Audio is your primal technology. It develops after 20 weeks in the womb and is the last sense to switch off when you die.
Attention, more accurately, is a removal of distractions; because visual is our dominant sense, it’s also our most crowded sense. Audio requires more effort - your brain is basically making up the pictures in your head. Your attention is more focused and you’re able to spend longer and take in more.
It makes the 1:1 connection with the host all important, as it’s a neural connection. So you’re round the table with the host who is just talking to you. They’re the voice of the listener. And you are that listener.
And because the pictures are removed, your imagination is made to work. It’s the same with reading, which means the emotion and the personal meaning behind this attention is all the more powerful. It will mean you’re more connected and more willing to take action.
We need to talk addiction. I don’t expect many people would say their relationship with their phone is the healthiest. Apps exist like little rabbit holes demanding attention and delivering Dopamine as a reward. I don’t know about you, but I often feel overwhelmed.
Oxytocin is released with empathy, with the emotional response, and that is what a good long form story, a podcast, releases.
And your Brain is coded to hear stories. Before you could read, you listened to the world around you and to your parent’s bedtime stories. The power of our connection to the voice deep.
So a good podcast is like a sit down meal or a good walk. It’s focused in the moment activity - which makes it better for you, and more rewarding work. This is quality, not quantity, so the emotion driven by the story drives recall and drives a much stronger action than just a click or a like, or even a view.
Podcasts are a low barrier to entry, no rules place. They’re incredibly personal and flexible. If you try and fail, there’s always the next episode. The perfect place for creativity.
But, I hear you think, why would someone want to listen to my brand rather than a hilarious comedy skit about nappies or a searing political commentary about how disastrous the government is?
Well, that’s our job. We turn your brand into a podcast that audiences will love. We take broadcast quality producers and turn your talent into podcast stars; your brand purpose into a killer format; your expertise into a brilliant conversation.
So my challenge to you and your brands and businesses is:
Get in touch, and we’ll help you find the answer!