Branded Podcasts

The Power of Brands in Podcasts: What it Means for Marketers in 2024

Last updated on: 
December 20, 2023

Uncover the key insights from “The Power of Brands in Podcasts” report and what they mean for marketers going into 2024. Learn how to leverage branded podcast listener data to create informed marketing strategies and impactful content.

Sounds Profitable released a Quill and CoHost sponsored report, “The Power of Brands in Podcasts,” that reveals important data brands and agencies need to know about branded podcast listeners, including: 

  • How audiences interact with branded podcast and video content
  • Listener demographics and attitudes to branded podcasts

On top of that, the report covers untapped opportunities in the branded podcast landscape that you may be leaving on the table and how to leverage video for your branded podcast.

In this blog, we are going to take this conversation even further and dive into the insights revealed from "The Power of Brands in Podcasts” report and what they mean for marketers going into 2024. 

Methodology 

Before we dive into the findings of the report and the takeaways for podcast marketers, we have a quick note on methodology. 

Of the 2400 American adults surveyed, 974 respondents indicated they were “Very” or “Somewhat” likely to listen to a podcast about a favorite brand or product. These individuals are labeled as “Brand Fans.” The sample was weighted to the most recent census data to be representative of the U.S. population.

TL;DR: Branded podcast listener insights

  • More than 40% of Americans 18+ say they would be likely to listen to a podcast about a favorite brand
  • Brand fans are also more likely to be positive about a company’s involvement with a podcast
  • Word-of-mouth is the primary way people find new podcasts. Brand fans in particular are more likely to listen to podcasts with other people - increasing their reach
  • Adding video components to a brand podcast can also attract current non-listeners to the medium
  • Quality, informative content is key to keeping listeners engaged 

Who are branded podcast listeners and what are their consumption habits?

When compared to the U.S. population, there are more branded podcast listeners between the ages of 18-54.

What this means for you: If your brand is going after audiences between Gen Z and Gen X, you’re in luck, as there are 13% more brand fans in this profile than average listeners. This is still quite a large range, so we suggest leveraging podcast analytics to better define your listener profile and tailor your content. 

When compared to total respondents, brand fans are more loyal and consistent listeners 

What this means for you: Brand fans have a more consistent relationship to podcasts with 48% having listened to a podcast within the last week. Comparatively, only 37% of total respondents had listened to a podcast in the past week with 28% of them never having listened to a podcast. This data marks an important opportunity for brands to tap into a captive and reliable audience base.   

Listening to discussions or topics of interest and multitasking are the top reasons brand fans listen to podcasts

What this means for you: With 89% of brand fans tuning into podcasts for discussions on topics of interest, producing insightful and educational content is at the forefront for brands. A big part of this is partnering with the right agency, featuring engaging and informed guests, and tailoring your content to audience feedback. 

On top of that, branded podcast listeners are busy with the majority of them tuning in while performing other tasks like commuting, doing household chores, or exercising. To tap into their day, your brand needs to produce quality content that provides them value.

Quill tip: If you’re looking to take an audience-first approach to podcasting, check out our blog article that outlines how to find your ideal audience, how to reach them, and how to ensure your content resonates with them. 

On average, brand fans listen to more podcasts than all listeners

What this means for you: As a whole, brand fans listen to more podcasts of all forms than all listeners with the largest discrepancy being 7% for a limited series podcast. This means that regardless of the type of podcast your brand chooses to produce, brand fans will be more likely to tune in.  

How listeners feel towards branded podcasts

Podcast listeners are almost as likely to listen to a branded podcast as they are a celebrity show 

What this means for you: Celebrity-produced shows and brand-produced shows tend to be perceived quite differently; however, in reality, listeners do not look down upon branded podcasts. Only 5% more listeners are likely to listen to a favorite celebrity-produced show than they are a show produced by a favorite brand. This presents an immense opportunity for brands in audio to leverage a captive, loyal audience.

Listeners do not perceive a brand’s involvement in a podcast negatively

What this means for you: Podcast listeners do not feel negatively toward a brand’s involvement in a podcast. In fact, they feel quite the opposite. In practice, as long as your show isn’t overly sales-y or promotional, highlighting your brand’s involvement in a podcast will not dissuade listeners from checking out your show.  

Quill Tip: If you’re looking for ways to build your podcast’s brand, check out our full article that outlines why your show needs its own unique brand and how it can complement your business in subtle, yet effective, ways.

The connective nature of branded podcasts

Brand fans are more likely to listen to podcasts with other people and recommend them to their social circle

What this means for you: Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t dead – especially among branded podcast listeners. While this doesn’t mean you should drop your other channels, branded podcast listeners are more likely to listen to podcasts with other people and recommend them to others in their social circle compared to other respondents. 

More people in brand fans’ social circles listen to podcasts and they are more likely to listen to podcast recommendations from within their social circle

What this means for you: On top of being more likely to recommend podcasts to others, brand fans have more people in their social circle who listen to podcasts. If your brand produces a valuable show that resonates, this data presents the opportunity for increased reach and discoverability. Additionally, brand fans are more likely to listen to podcasts that their social circle recommends, signifying a high degree of trust and loyalty.

Apart from word-of-mouth, brand fans are most likely to find podcasts on YouTube, online, social media, and host-read ads 

What this means for you: Marketers need to be intentional with word-of-mouth marketing by targeting their ideal listeners online through social media and host-read ads. 

This reaffirms findings from earlier this year that report 55% of podcast revenue comes from host-read ads; whereas, brand or agency-produced ads make up only 3%, suggesting that above all, podcasting is an extremely intimate and connective medium. 

Quill Tip: If you’re looking to leverage the full potential of podcast advertising, check out our recent article where we dive into the most up-to-date podcast stats to reveal why podcast advertising should be your next paid strategy

Brand fans attitudes toward video podcasts 

61% of brand fans are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to spend more time listening to podcasts if they were available on a video streaming platform

What this means for you: Increasing your show’s discoverability is critical for success – especially when it comes to making it available on video streaming platforms like YouTube. With a reach of 5x the amount of listening apps, YouTube presents a lucrative opportunity for brands in audio to tap into new audiences. 

Of non-listeners who are brand fans, the most common reason for not listening to a podcast is because they prefer video

What this means for you: Of non-listeners who identify as brand fans, their primary barrier to listening is the absence of video. Many brands have begun to leverage this opportunity with 85% of companies reporting to have captured video for their podcasts in 2023. Luckily for brands in audio, YouTube is continuing to adapt to podcast consumption. 

We can see this most notably in Google Podcasts migration to YouTube next year. ITo expand your reach and tap into new audiences, we encourage brands in audio to tap into video.

Challenges and opportunities for brands in audio

From the data revealed in this report, we have identified the key challenges and opportunities podcast marketers should keep top of mind looking into the new year. 

Quality content is necessary for consistent engagement 

While brand fans represent a captive, loyal audience with 48% listening within the past week, their attention isn’t free. 

For brands looking to enter the audio sphere or brands seeking to improve and optimize their current podcast, here’s a quick checklist to run through when analyzing the value of your content and the quality of your listening experience:

  • Guest selection: How do your guests provide value or expertise? What do your guests add to your show?
  • Content: What does your show provide listeners that differentiates it from others in your niche?
  • Sound quality: Do you have an audio engineer or editor to ensure proper sound quality before publishing? Do you have good equipment? Is your show clear and cohesive?
  • Editing: Is your show clear and cohesive? Does your show have a strong auditory brand?
  • Scripting: Is your show easy to follow? Does it have a clear hook and structure?
  • Consistency: Am I keeping to my posting schedule? If I’m taking a break, do I inform my listeners? Do I make it easy for my listeners to connect with me outside the show’s seasons?
  • Tracking: How is my show performing? What content is resonating most with my listeners and what segments are missing the mark?

While this list can come across as a bit extensive, creating a branded podcast that resonates doesn’t come without hard work and the right team. To maximize your show’s potential, we suggest brands partner with a full-service podcast agency

On top of saving your team valuable time and resources, podcast agencies provide expertise, connections, quality equipment, and a team of highly qualified writers, producers, editors, and sound engineers to ensure your podcast makes an impact. 

Quill Tip: If you’re looking to increase your branded podcast’s quality, check out our blog all about tangible steps and strategies you can implement to improve your listening experience. 

Word-of-mouth marketing still requires a strategic approach

While word-of-mouth is the primary way brand fans and general listeners receive podcast recommendations, online engagement isn’t far behind. That is why, to maximize your word-of-mouth strategy, we suggest brands optimize their online presence via other top-performing channels, namely:

Going into 2024, marketers need to approach word-of-mouth intentionally and not just see it as an organic tactic. Instead, put your branded podcast in front of your ideal audience on social media, through paid ads, and on search engines to unlock the full potential of your show’s reach.

Video podcasts can engage more respondents – especially non-listeners

The primary barrier for non-listening brand fans is their preference for video, but brands are responding to this challenge with 85% of companies capturing video for their podcasts in 2023. 

We expect to see this trend expand this coming year. One reason for this is that YouTube is continuing to adapt to podcast consumption. YouTube videos in 2005 were about two minutes long on average. Now, the average YouTube video is above 15 minutes. This increase is largely due to the increasing demand for longer-form content on the platform. 

Start 2024 off strong with data-driven strategies

As seen through “The Power of Brands in Podcasts” report, brand fans represent a large, captive market ready to engage with valuable, informative content. As a demographic that is prone to share favorite shows with others and act upon word-of-mouth recommendations, we suggest all brands increase their online discoverability to tap into their reach.

Looking forward to 2024 video podcasting, intentional word-of-mouth marketing, and quality content remain central themes guiding podcast marketers. Adapting to and leveraging these trends will be instrumental for podcasters seeking to thrive and captivate audiences in the upcoming year.

If you’re interested in learning more about brands in podcasting and how a podcast agency can help bring your podcast to life, reach out to the Quill team

Tianna Marinucci

Content Marketing Specialist

Tianna Marinucci is a content creation and digital marketing specialist. She graduated from McGill University in 2021 and has since worked in a variety of industries from interior design to technology.

After traveling to more than 60 countries and working in three, she is inspired by diverse cultures and motivated by unique experiences.

In her spare time, Tianna loves trying new foods, going to concerts, and learning more about history and socio-economics through books and podcasts.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

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  • Great if podcasting is a
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  • Very basic editing
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Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

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Libsyn

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Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

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  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
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Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
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  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
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  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
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  • Embed media player.
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