The Medium Moves the Message – Why Radio Broadcasters Should Embrace Podcasting


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Many European broadcasters have been slow to embrace podcasting. In today’s egtabite, we take a look at data that shows why radio broadcasters should give podcasting an even bigger push. New research by Sounds Profitable proves that podcasting enhances a TV or radio buy with increased mid- and lower-funnel benefits.


In their new research, The Medium Moves the Message, Sounds Profitable, together with Signal Hill Insights, looked at the top five advertisers by share of voice in broadcast radio, linear TV and podcasting. They asked a series of basic brand health questions to a sample of over 2000 Americans aged 18+. By looking at such a broad sample, they were able to isolate different segments: those who were identified as weekly consumers of each medium and those who were not. They were able to record the differentials in responses to key brand measures between each medium’s “best customers” and those who did not listen to or watch these channels regularly.

Key brand metrics

For each brand, they measured four key brand health indicators: awareness, favourability, consideration (how likely consumers are to consider researching, learning more and purchasing from the brand), and taking action (whether consumers bought or took some meaningful action towards purchase).

For the five TV and radio brands involved, they saw very similar results: high levels of awareness among regular and heavy users. Interestingly, however, as they moved towards the lower end of the funnel, with measures like consideration and action, the result indicated rather negative reactions amongst the heavy consumers of the medium.

This is where podcasting shines. When we look at the report card for a brand that heavily invested in podcasting, like BetterHelp, all the measures increased – not only the indicators for awareness but those for consideration and action as well.

Podcasts in a multichannel media mix

The most interesting results, however, were the various measures of brand health for heavy advertisers from the insurance industry, like Progressive and GEICO for example. When we look at the levels of reach and the results for awareness, we see that radio performs very well, but podcast audiences respond more positively on lower funnel measures, even for brands that are everywhere and often reuse the same audio creative.

If we look at this comparison of consideration measures (the percentage of people who say they are “very” or “somewhat likely” to use the brand) across weekly audiences for TV, radio, and podcasting, we see that even for brands that advertise heavily on every channel, podcast audiences score higher in consideration, favourability, and taking action. In fact, in fact looking at a summary of the averages for the top five brands in each channel, you can see that radio performs very well for awareness (especially when considering that the radio brands are also heavily present in other channels) while podcasting performs great on taking action.

Why radio broadcasters should embrace podcasting

The key question is: why should radio broadcasters embrace podcasting? For podcast publishers, this data supports a view that advertisers should be buying podcasts to obtain measurable lift in lower funnel measures. Radio can, however, present a combined sell to advertisers that is not just a podcasting being added in to a radio buy, but rather a sequenced part of a total audio solution that starts with building reach on radio and moves a listener meaningfully along a customer journey towards a deeper relationship with a brand through podcast advertising.

It comes down to a true total-funnel solution, one that does not cannibalise existing broadcast properties. Podcasting may seem to be competing for resources with radio but they are actually incredibly complementary and the data from The Medium Moves the Message is one of the first credible studies that clearly spells this out.

* This egtabite has been adapted by egta from the original article by Tom Webster, Partner at Sounds Profitable