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Are Podcasts Giving You FOMO?
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Are Podcasts Giving You FOMO?

Amanda Woodley

Podcasts are still a relatively new addition to many media plans, and to a large extent, they’re unchartered territory for many brands. The surging popularity of podcasts, however, is hard to ignore, and is likely inciting FOMO into the heart’s of marketers around the globe who are eager to not get left behind, but still might be unclear on the tangible value they add.


With 6 million U.K. adults listening to podcasts on a weekly basis and podcast advertising set to double in the next three years, there is more need than ever for brands to be able to quantify the impact and effectiveness of their podcast ads. We expect this demand to grow as smart speakers boost the popularity of podcasts even further while tech companies and traditional publishers ramp up their investing to keep pace with growing consumer interest. 

Nielsen studies conducted in the U.S. have shown that 57% of podcast ads tested outperformed pre-roll video in driving purchase intent, and 70% of respondents exposed agreed that the podcast ads increased their awareness of products and services.

There’s reason to believe in podcasts, but like any channel, marketers need to know whether their advertising investment is paying off the way they expect. So, while podcasts present a new—more intimate—opportunity to engage with audiences,it’s not as easy to validate the impact of your investment as it is with more traditional media. With podcasts, it’s hard to know if your ROI measures up. 

Listens and downloads can tell you which podcasts are popular, but they can’t tell you anything about what happens once a listener actually has an episode. Does the listener listen to all of it? Does the listener skip the ads? Does the episode get heard at all? Without answers to these and other questions, advertisers are flying blind. Marketers need to understand the different types of podcasts, the varying formats and the audiences that listen to them. They also need comparable metrics to objectively determine whether to include podcasts in their media campaigns. 

To unlock the opportunity, we need to look to brand and content metrics. Ad recall, brand familiarity, purchase and recommendation intent are the cornerstones to understanding whether your ad had the intended impact. This is true across all channels, and podcasts are no different. But podcasts differ when it comes to format, and metrics need to be appropriate. Metrics like an overall rating for the programme, a host rating, an understanding about what other content the listeners are seeking out and whether they intend to share content are key to ensuring an ad placement is right for your brand.

So, while podcasts may be the latest asset in the marketer’s arsenal, the old adage holds true: You can’t monitor what you don’t measure.