Serial Success: The Case for Investing in Podcast Advertising


If you’ve been on social media lately, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve noticed your friends sharing, ranting, and raving about the podcast “Serial.” Serial is a spinoff of  “This American Life” which details the investigation of a 1999 murder in Baltimore. “Serial” is one of the most popular podcasts in history- it hit 5 million downloads faster than any podcast in history. The success of “Serial” is putting renewed focus on podcasting. Podcasting has been around for 10 years and has grown steadily over that time. Despite this growth, many advertisers have been hesitant to invest in podcasting which is considered by some to be a fringe medium.

So why should advertisers invest in podcast advertising?


When someone sees a billboard or a banner ad, they only view it for a few seconds (most of the time). Even a TV commercial can be ignored fairly easily. Podcast ads are usually integrated directly into a program, generally at the start. They stick with people more because people spend more time listening to them.

Return on Investment

Most advertising is expensive. Even social media is becoming an increasingly expensive medium as social networks limit brand’s organic reach. Podcasting is (at least for now) relatively inexpensive and due to its stickiness, tends to lead to more impressions, more engagement and a better overall return on investment for brands who invest in them.

Podcast Listeners are More Affluent

Podcast listeners have more money to spend than other consumers. 4 in 10 podcast listeners have a household income of $75,000 or more.

Podcast Popularity is Growing by Leaps and Bounds

And of course, podcasts are becoming increasingly popular as more and more consumers buy smartphones and other mobile devices. In the future, automobiles will be equipped with podcast listening services, and eventually, podcasting may even replace traditional radio.