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Podcasts: A New Era of Influence

Podcasters are now more persuasive than traditional influencers

Podcast consumption continues to skyrocket, with over 50% of Americans listening monthly. But how do consumers describe their relationship with podcasts and their favorite podcasters? To help marketers better understand the role podcasts play in consumers’ lives and identify meaningful ways for brands to leverage the podcast medium, Vox Media partnered with MAGNA Global, a leading global media investment and intelligence company, on a mixed-methods study consisting of three one-hour focus groups and a survey of over 2,000 weekly podcast listeners aged 18+. Our findings show that podcasts fill a void that other content can’t, building intimacy with listeners that ultimately leads to influence.

Above and beyond other mediums, podcasts engender trust and openness to new ideas thanks to audiences’ strong connections with podcast hosts. 68% of listeners—and 81% of millennial listeners—say they have a deep connection with their favorite podcasters, and 88% of all listeners consider the time they spend listening to their favorite podcasters as meaningful. The influence of podcasters is so great that three in four say podcasters have changed their minds on something they once believed in.

This connection is so powerful that podcasters are now considered more influential than other categories of influencers such as social media personalities and TV or movie celebrities. When asked which media figures’ influence matters most, 75% of listeners say podcast hosts compared to 15% who say social media influencers and 10% who say TV & movie celebrities. This underscores the huge potential of podcasts to educate, assist in decision making, and guide product consideration. Podcasts even motivate listeners to pursue self-improvement: 79% of listeners say podcasts motivate them to be better versions of themselves.

This unparalleled level of intimacy and influence translates directly to a more memorable and effective ad experience. Over two in three listeners say they pay more attention to podcast ads than ads they come across elsewhere (e.g. TV, social media, etc.). Across genres, podcast ads are perceived as highly effective in both generating brand awareness and driving purchase intent. Podcasts represent an ideal environment for brands to share thoughtful brand messaging as listeners are highly receptive to detailed information while listening.

With a robust podcast library featuring industry-leading voices, insightful conversations, and powerful storytelling, the Vox Media Podcast Network is the perfect partner for brands looking to connect deeply with consumers. Compared to podcasts from other networks, the Vox Media Podcast Network is nearly two times more likely to have had an impact on listeners’ perceptions or beliefs. This influence ultimately drives listeners down the purchase funnel. 60% of Vox Media podcast listeners have purchased or shopped for a product after learning about it through their favorite podcast.

To learn more about the unrivaled influence of podcasters and how to leverage podcasts and podcast ads to drive purchase decisions, see our presentation, “A New Era of Influence.”

Download the report here: