Branded Podcasts Connect with Listeners in Unreachable Moments

Last week, Audio: Activated, a new study from BBC Global News’s branded content division, revealed some fascinating information about the power of branded podcasts. Among other things, the study directly addresses two long-held mysteries: 1. Does the brand actually stand out from the content within branded podcasts, and 2. Do listeners retain brand associations after the fact, particularly when consuming the content while engaged in other activities?

According to BBC Global News, the study was performed “using cutting-edge neuroscience methods, measuring second-by-second brain activity as content is consumed in passive and active states of activity, Audio:Activated reveals the persuasive power and cut-through of branded podcasts.”

Some key takeaways include the notion that brand mentions within a podcast deliver a 16% higher engagement rate than the surrounding content, and that listener engagement, emotional intensity and memory encoding around brand mentions beat TV benchmarks by at least 22%.

Additionally. The study shows that 94% of listeners consume podcasts while performing other tasks. While this may not be surprising given the nature of the medium itself, the study shows that this active group scored more highly on all measures — engagement (+18%), emotional intensity (+40%) and long term memory of the podcast (+22%).

So what do we do with this?

We often talk with brands about the power of reaching their audience in “unreachable moments” — all of the places where traditional media cannot. How do you interact with your audience while they’re doing the dishes, working out, or commuting to work? Podcasts have that power.

What we now know is that those active listeners have an even higher rate of engagement with the content they’re consuming. The study goes on to explain that podcasts create subconscious associations with the brand, based on words they hear in the podcast. When done right, brands can not only have their message land clearly with podcast audiences, they stand to benefit from a uniquely high rate of engagement, retention, and action.

This is big news for marketers, and with podcast listenership set to increase again in 2020, brands that incorporate a podcast as the centerpiece of their content marketing strategy have an opportunity to connect with their target audience in even more ways than previously imagined.

You can read all of the findings from Audio: Activated here.