Podcasts have become an important part of media consumption in society, across multiple demographics, geographies and genres.
Shows range from comedy with Seth Rogan and sports coverage of a favorite team, to true crime investigations and something for every kind of history buff. And, of course, travel-based podcasts.
The traditional range of advertising options for travel brands, consisting of T.V., radio, outdoor, press, online and social, can now be joined by podcasts, with many shows attracting more listeners than countless programs in the broadcast media.
It’s a no-brainer that audio is a huge part of the travel experience. According to a recent research study conducted by Pandora, 90% of listeners consume some form of audio while they travel; including music, podcasts, and audiobooks, according to a Pandora Listener Study in October 2021.
And podcast listenership alone is exploding to over 116M Americans listening monthly (Edison Research 2021 Report).
One of the reasons that listeners are flocking to podcasts is because it allows them to be entertained while still completing productivity tasks like driving (road-trips!), working-out, cooking or chores.
And let’s be real; we all could use a bit of a visual vacation right now.
At SXM Media (SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher + SoundCloud) we know podcasts. We are the number one podcast sales representative in the U.S.
In other words, we reach the largest addressable audience on a weekly basis than any other publisher, network or sales representative out there.
Visit Myrtle Beach took advantage of reaching this highly engaged podcast audience via Stitcher/SXM Media and worked with their agency MMGY Global to develop a host-read ad on the popular show Literally! With Rob Lowe.
Podcasts provide opportunities for brands to align with these intimate moments and generate action from listeners, like driving visitation to Myrtle Beach.
It’s that trifecta relationship (listener + creator + advertiser) that keeps listeners coming back for more, all while maintaining the integrity of the podcast itself.
And they work... 86% of Stitcher/Midroll listeners also say they have taken an action as a result of hearing a podcast ad, according to Midroll network Podsurvey listener data.
While the creative is incredibly important, so is the targeting you can utilize with podcasts. As an expert in travel marketing and consultant to brands on how to reach their most valuable audiences, I always recommend an audience-first approach to campaign strategy. Here are four ways to target travelers on podcasts.
- Ad Break Targeting: The ability to target pre-, mid-, or post-roll ad breaks at-scale. Travel marketers can work with SXM Media to determine a specific show that over-index with travel intent or a host that has an affinity to travel to market their message.
- Behavior Targeting: The ability to target your audience based on a user’s online and offline behavior (i.e., interested in travel, leisure travel, connected home users, gambling, etc.).
- Category Targeting: The ability to target by show genre, (i.e., Society & Culture, Kids & Family, Sports, Business, etc.). SXM Media has over 20 genres you can target, or anti-target if needed.
- Transcription Targeting: Ad technology that transcribes audio from episodes into text, then sorts them into more niche categories like “Travel” This means you can target content at the episode-level—as well as anti-target, which allows for increased brand suitability.
To help you continue your journey into the podcast universe, SXM Media has put together a Podcast Ad Glossary to help expand your Podcabulary. You can check it out here.
Some handy research
According to Edison Research's Infinite Dial 2021 report, monthly U.S. podcast listenership grew to an astounding 116 million people.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of podcast listening creating new opportunities for brands to reach an engaged and loyal audience.
Podcast listening locations
- When it comes to the environment, it seems there’s nothing like the comfort of your own home to tune into a podcast. In fact, 49% of podcast listeners in the U.S. say they listen to podcasts at home, down from 51% in 2017.
- Podcasts are also being consumed while on the move, with 22% listen while driving (in a car or truck), same as 2017.
- And podcasts appeal as much to those who enjoy simply soaking in all that podcasts have to offer as those who enjoy multitasking. Seven out of 10 podcast listeners say they don’t do anything else when listening to podcasts. Others prefer to multitask, with 59% listening to podcasts while doing housework, 52% driving, and 50% cooking or baking.
Why people listen to podcasts
- 74% of podcast users listen to podcasts to learn something new
- 71% listen to be entertained
- 60% listen to stay up to date
- 51% listen to relax
- 47% listen to be inspired
- 37% listen to escape
- 24% listen for companionship