The leading marketing research firm Nielsen has introduced a podcasting network service providing audience insights such as purchasing habits and genre preferences. The data is concluded using Nielsen’s biannual podcast survey conducted on 30,000 respondents.

Network providers opt to subscribe to the new Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service to record their podcasts in the survey. The survey includes questions related to the purchasing plans, genre preferences, other consumer and listener behaviours and podcasts. A random group of 30,000 Americans got selected for this sample survey. iHeartMedia, Cadence13, Stitcher, Westwood One and Cabana are the very first adopters of this service.

Podcasts became an innovative medium of entertainment and information with its immense potential to reach audiences across various markets. Advertisers were sceptical about the success of this initiative based on the history of failure of other innovative visual and experiential content initiatives. Podcasts have surprised advertisers and audiences with its market relevance and success.

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As per a survey conducted in 2018 to test the market awareness about podcasts, 64% of Americans aged 12-years and above are familiar with podcasts, with 26% of them listened to podcasts in the past month. In total, 48 million Americans use podcast each month thanks to the prevalence of streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and Alexa-based Amazon Music. Another research in the same year concluded that podcast units are more than double as successful than banner ads creating more brand awareness and ad recall.

Podcast advertisements provide a continuous, intriguing story for enhancing the auditory experience. As the podcast ads are native, they are easily integrated into any story. Experienced advertisers create ads that seamlessly fit into the story’s timeline or framework. Podcasts usually hook listeners to pay attention to the ad using entertaining and engaging contents. This reduces the chances of the audience skipping the ads as they discover new and intriguing information in the process. The Midroll Media Study conducted in 2016 found that 90% of all podcast audience reported listening to the entire ad, and did not skip or fast-forward through it with 70% listeners saying that the ads brought a new product or service to their attention.

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Audiences invest time in the podcast, gaining more than mere entertainment value; with enhanced awareness and insight into a product to physically improve their lives too. In addition, as each ad remains entertaining with unique content, readers will not tune out. Combining story with infotainment empowers listeners to respond. A study showed that 80% of listeners do recall ads for at least one brand advertised during each podcast episode. This indicates that the campaign effectiveness multiplies when many ad spots are run with repetition or more than one type of ad. Experts advise having  fewer interstitial ads -one advertisement per half hour during each episode increase effectiveness as the ads that run over five episodes result in almost 39% more listener recall.

Last year, advertisers recorded total investment of $314 million into podcast ads in the U.S with the number expected to grow by 110% to $659 million in the next three decades. Brands are now targeting listeners who skip ads or those who don’t interact with ads regularly due to subscription OTT content or DVR. Latest podcast advertising initiatives by companies like Nielsen are disrupting the way audiences can discover useful products and services, to build a more informed society that works for advertisers and audience equally.

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