The way in which audiences consume media is evolving and the soaring popularity of podcasts is a key indicator that people are opting to tune in to their favorite shows rather than consume content in other formats.
“A New Era of Influence: Podcasters’ Emergence as One of Today’s Most Influential Figures in Media” is a new research paper by Magna and Vox that looks at the unique relationship between audiences and hosts to get a better understanding of why this content format is fast becoming a fan favorite across multiple niches.
The report also highlights some of the best practices for podcasters and brands.
If you’re a podcaster or a content creator who’s interested in getting into podcasting then you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at the key takeaways from this report – so if you’re sat on the fence regarding starting your own podcast we can assure you that the data speaks for itself, and there’s no better time to start.
Let’s take a look!
Who Conducted the Survey?
The “A New Era of Influence: Podcasters’ Emergence as One of Today’s Most Influential Figures in Media” report was a collaborative effort between MAGNA’s Media Trials unit and Vox Media to further explore the phenomenon surrounding the popularity of podcasts, with a main goal of understanding what exactly it is about this media format that resonates with audiences.
MAGNA is a global investment company that specialized in media and intelligence, whereas Vox is an award-winning media company that’s well-known for its editorial properties some of which include SB Nation. The Dodo, and Vox. They further house an award-winning podcast network and studios.
The report was performed via mixed methods which included 30 focus group online interviews, with participants located across the U.S. as well as online surveys with 2,028 participants offering variations in location, age, race, ethnicity, income, and gender.
All the participants were weekly podcast listeners who could share their valuable insight into why they choose this media format over others.
“A New Era of Influence” revealed that podcast hosts have way more influence on their audience, with a whopping 75% of participants stating that they hold podcasters in a position of higher influence when compared to social media stars and celebrities.
Moreover, 75% of the survey participants also stated that they use podcasts as their main source of information across a wide variety of niches. This data point was especially high within the millennial demographic. This is most likely due to the fact that podcasts deliver in-depth information in a way that other content formats cannot. This makes sense, especially considering that 50% of participants shared that they felt podcasts delivered information, news, debates, and binge-worthy conversations in a better way than their competitor content formats such as video, and text-based.
In today’s busy world, behavioral habits surrounding media consumption are evolving. This is another interesting point that the survey discovered – 72% of adults use media as a tool for self-development and personal fulfillment. With 70% of Gen Z participants, and 80% of Millenial participants stating that they use podcasts to achieve their own personal goals, and enhance their motivation.
The intimacy level that podcasts offer their listeners is now understood to translate to a more effective advertising experience. In fact, more than two in three podcast listeners stated that they notice themselves being more receptive to podcast advertorials when compared to other adverts across different channels such as social media and TV.
Even across varying niches, podcast ads were found to be extremely effective in both driving consumer intent and elevating brand awareness. The popular media format seems to be the perfect environment for companies to disseminate campaign messaging due to audiences being more receptive and open to in-depth information.
The influence of podcast hosts on purchase decisions was found to be highest among millennial audiences, with 51% of participants disclosing that they have been convinced to make a purchase via an advertisement on a podcast.
Furthermore, it was found that podcasts deliver good results for brands introducing or launching new products, with 77% of participants mentioning that they’ve learned about services or new products via podcast ads.
Lastly, most participants agreed that listening to podcasts has enabled them to make better decisions, with 77% stating that they choose this format over social media and other channels when they’re seeking help with an important decision.
Ultimately, it was found that listeners hold podcast information to a higher value than other channels – in fact, 79% of participants stated to have a superior level of trust – which translates to other content and advertisements associated with the podcast show itself.
This data shows that brands shouldn’t ignore the power of podcasts, nor veer away from sharing advertorials that include highly descriptive information. Podcast listeners are receptive to in-depth information making it a great opportunity for brands to share important details, offers, and descriptions of products or services.
What Does This Mean for Influencers And Content Creators?
The report results clearly show that we are in the middle of a cultural shift that’s impacting the ways in which audiences choose to consume content. With podcasts reigning supreme in terms of influence and consumer trust.
If you’re a podcaster, this data means that there’s no better time to focus on your audience’s engagement and trust level. Once you established that you’re hitting both of those important targets it would be a good time to start pitching brands.
MAGNA’s study also included some important best practices for brands looking to leverage this content format for future campaigns. Although the information isn’t specifically directed at content creators and podcast hosts, there are many valuable insights and this detailed list is what brands will be taking into consideration in the future, so it can help you better cater your podcast strategy so that your brand is appealing to advertisers.
Study recommendations for brands:
- Leverage podcast content format to drive sales.
- Collaborate with influential and trusted podcasters
- Partner with podcasters who are authoritative in their niche, and emerging as an influencer.
Ideas for marketers recommended by the survey:
- Leverage podcasts as a key element of a purchase funnel, at the same time as during brand awareness generation.
- Allow the podcaster a certain level of creative freedom when delivering advertorials.
- Partner with shows and hosts whose content is relevant to the product or service being advertised.
- Simplify the purchasing process for audiences.
Link to the Report
Then “A New Era of Influence: Podcasters’ Emergence as One of Today’s Most Influential Figures in Media” by Magna and Vox can be found in PDF format via this link.
Both companies also share a wealth of information on their websites, some of which include case studies, reports, data-driven strategies, news, and trends.