A study released earlier this year advocates sponsorships over advertising as the best way to monetize podcasts. The Association for Downloadable Media along with Edison Research report that podcast listeners HATE radio style ads but relate much better to "this content is brought to you by" sponsorships. The study says that it helps if the podcast host makes the sponsorship announcement. For content publishers here are the two key charts:
First: when podcast listeners were asked about traditional radio style ads their response was negative with 62% saying they "generally dislike" them.
But when the same audience was asked about sponsorship plugs instead 67% responded they "Don't mind them and occasionally find them useful."
Sponsorships seems the way to gain exposure for advertisers without without turning off listeners.
There were other findings as well. According to Edison Research Vice President Tom Webster, “A podcast advertising buy is not a redundant media buy for advertisers and marketers. These are attractive, affluent consumers that mass media is losing.” He also notes, “Ninety percent of these respondents indicated that they had taken some kind of action as a result of podcast advertising or sponsorship, and over 40% reported purchasing behaviors, which indicates that they are receptive to the right message, in the right context.”
More findings include:
1. Active Podcast consumers are mobile media consumers - and content creators and advertisers alike should continue to take advantage of that fact
2. Active podcast consumers are not receptive to interrupt advertising, but they are receptive to targeted messages in podcasts
3. There is a "halo" effect ascribed to brands, products and services that sponsor podcasts
Watch an hour long Vimeo video where Edison Research presents the findings: