Close-up of man\'s hand holding microphone in broadcasting studio. Home studio podcast interior. Laptop, pen and notepad on table on background. Making podcast in home podcast studio. First person view

By Tom Webster, partner at Sounds Profitable

While traditional media like radio and TV have long been staples in food and beverage advertising strategies, there’s a rapidly growing medium that offers unique advantages: podcasting.

Podcasts provide an intimate and immersive environment where listeners develop strong connections with the hosts and content. Your brand message can be seamlessly woven into podcast episodes, creating authentic endorsements that resonate with the audience. Studies show that podcast advertising outperforms radio and TV in key metrics like brand favorability and motivating consumers to take action.

Our 2023 study demonstrated that compared to traditional broadcast media like television and radio, podcast ads significantly outperform in lower-funnel measures, such as driving favorability, consideration and purchase action. On average, podcasting led to a 16% positive differential in taking action, compared to just 1% for TV and 6% for radio.

The reasons for this are simple. While some might point to the relationship between the hosts and their audience or the “theater of the mind” aspects of podcasts, there is a more concrete reason β€” the audience for podcasts is hearing fewer ads, period. They are more than a generation younger than the average age for radio and TV, less likely to listen to ad-supported broadcast media, and the most likely group of media consumers in America to subscribe to one or more ad-free premium content services (and generally more than two).

This makes the regular audience for podcasts, roughly a third of Americans, harder to reach through traditional means. Luckily, it also makes the ads they DO hear more meaningful because they aren’t being clobbered with messages on a day-to-day basis. In our most recent study, we learned that 28% of podcast listeners say they “watch or listen to all of the ads” they encounter on podcasts, compared to 10% of YouTube viewers or 18% of CTV viewers who would say the same about those respective media. We know that ads work, but only if people pay attention to them. Podcasts earn attention.

While individual podcast audiences may be smaller than broadcast media, the relative cost to advertise is also lower, making it economical to achieve high frequency and share-of-voice. Imagine owning the advertising in the top podcasts for your target customers β€” simply put, you’ll build unrivaled mindshare. For top podcast advertisers, podcasting hasn’t only been an engagement medium, it’s been their introduction to an entire segment of America that is receptive to their message and has money to spend.

Some food and beverage brands are already leveraging branded podcasts and unique integrations to stand out. But there’s still a huge opportunity in the space as podcasting continues its rapid growth. Don’t let this chance to get ahead of the competition pass you by.

It’s time for food industry marketers to embrace the power of podcasting. With its highly engaged audiences, authentic host endorsements, and efficient targeting, podcast advertising can be the secret ingredient that takes your brand to the next level. The golden age of podcasting is just beginning β€” make sure your brand reserves its seat at the table.

Tom Webster is a partner at Sounds Profitable, the leading voice of significance for the digital audio industry, devoted to growing the podcast sector through audio insights, education and connections. As a 25-year audio research veteran, he is a trusted advisor to the biggest companies in audio and has dedicated his career to the advancement of podcasting for networks and individuals alike.

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