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Super-Listener: The Hero that Podcasting Needs.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its a Super-Listener… and it could be the secret to unlocking a podcasts financial potential.

Every technology has its “power-users”. A small number of consumers that account for a high level of use. In podcasting, these are known as “Super-Listeners” and it refers to listeners who consume more than five hours of podcasts a week. In radio terms, they are Podcasts P1’s.

Edison Research & Podcast One have just unveiled the results of a study into these users and their behaviour and there are some very promising findings for podcasting as a whole.

Super-listeners have always been important to the podcast scene. Not only are they the consumers who are most likely to hear advertising but they also tend to be evangelists for the medium, recommending their favourite shows to friends (96% of Super-Listeners tell their friends about their favourite shows) and spreading the good word of podcasts. This latest research provides a little more information about the behaviour of those individuals.

Initially, some of the findings of the research could be considered worrying but, when viewed as a whole, the research point to podcasting as an incredibly effective way to reach an audience.

It would seem that many Podcast “Super-Listeners” do their best to avoid advertising. They listen to podcasts, subscribe to services such as Netflix and consume music via streaming services all as a way to avoid advertising (22% say this is a motivating factor for using such services). However, rather his being a negative for podcasting as a tool for marketeers it is actually a strength.

With podcasters doing their best to LIMIT their exposure to advertising you might assume that podcasting becomes an ineffective way to reach those listeners but it would seem that the opposite is true.

Whilst we must keep in mind that this particular sample group will naturally look favourably on podcasting as a whole, the way this group of advert-adverse listeners react to adverts withing podcasting is still impressive and encouraging.

Not only do 44% of listeners pay attention to the adverts they hear but 37% agree that podcast advertising is the best way for a brand to reach them personally.

There are also some interesting statistics that show podcast listeners who hear an advert are more likely to consider that product (42%) compare to similar advertisements on the internet (33%) or on Social Media (31%).

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What I found really interesting however is the “Halo Affect” that a podcast can have on an affiliated brand.

We know that podcast listeners are fiercely loyal. The intimacy of Podcasting (and audio to a certain extent) leads to listeners building deep, meaningful relationships with their hosts. Because of this relationship they view any brands working with those hosts/shows in a favourable way. Almost an “any friend of yours is a friend of mine” attitude to advertising, which becomes a very powerful tool in the arsenal of podcasting. Not only can a brand promote their products effectively they can also user podcasting to improve their public perception – just by being present on the medium.

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What does it mean?

Not only are podcasts an effective way of delivering a product to an incredibly targeted audience but now this research suggests that listeners are more likely to take action on that promotion.

This could be accredited to the synergy between product and audience and ability to hit precise demographics but, as this research suggests, elements such as trust and loyalty come into play too.

Because of relationships built with their favourite shows, listeners become not only more susceptible to placement within those shows but may even view a brand appearing within a podcast in a more favourable light – they appreciate their role in bringing them their favourite shows!

Previous Edison research  (from 2015) has already found that, in general, Podcast listeners are higher educated, more tech-savvy and have more disposable income than your average consumer which adds further appeal to a vibrant podcasting market.

With a highly engaged, affluent and susceptible audience within easy reach its easy to see why more and more money is being poured into podcast advertising every year.

You can read the full report and watch the webinar from Edison Research and Podcast One here.

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