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Podcasts Players in Battle for Local Online Ad Dollars

Podcasts are becoming viable contenders for the much-coveted local online advertising dollar. A new survey suggests that consumer attitudes towards advertising around pod casts is favorable. Then there is the business case - unlike radio advertising, which is aimed at passive listeners, podcasts can assure advertisers that their listeners are not only receptive to their programs but have actively sought them out.

From Radio to the Internet

That is the case that Mike O’Meara made to sponsors for his show in the Washington, DC area. O’Meara was a staple of the local airwaves for more than 25 years until he found himself out of a job due to a change in the programming format, writes the WashingtonPost.  He, along with colleague Oscar Zeballos, decided to move their program to an hour-long podcast every day from Monday to Friday less than a year ago.

According to O'Meara, local sponsors have already paid off the show's start-up costs. For broadcasters seeking advertiser dollars, it's a new sort of pitch, Zeballos tells the Washington Post. Not all radio listeners are engaged with the programming. “Maybe you're stuck in a car, for example, and can't find anything better to listen to. For such folks, the radio is the audio equivalent of wallpaper. “Podcast listeners, on the other hand, have gone out of their way to find and download your content. Give those folks a marketing message, and they are far more likely to pay attention.”

New Stats

Bolstering the business case for pod cast advertising is new research conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the Association for Downloadable Media, which finds consumer attitudes about pod cast advertising and sponsorships to be favorable. It found that nearly 80% of these podcast consumers agreed that "when price and quality is equal," they "prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor" the podcasts they regularly enjoy.

Also, 37% of these respondents expressed some positive sentiment about advertising in the podcasts they regularly listen to or watch, compared to only 6% positive sentiment expressed for the advertising approaches of television or commercial radio.

The study’s findings were interesting - despite the fact that the study was sponsored by an industry association, writes New TeeVee. “Not surprisingly, about 90% of podcast users said they preferred free, ad-supported downloadable media to paying for podcast subscriptions. But the effect of ads in those podcasts was surprising. About 78 of respondents said - and 21 percent strongly agreed - that their opinion of a company was more positive when they heard it mentioned in one of the podcasts that they regularly enjoyed.”

Advertisers were even better off when those messages were read by the host of the program that they were listening to, New TeeVee said. “When the advertiser’s message came direct from the program’s host, 72% of respondents said that they were receptive to it, with about 20% indicating that those messages were “generally interesting and useful.” When not read by the program’s host, 72% were still receptive to the sponsor’s message, but only about 5% found they were interested in the advertisement.

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