Why Your Clients Should be Using Podcast Ads

BY Rachel Cagle
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Has your client broken into podcast ads yet? If not, what’s the holdup? Could it be that they don’t know that the average podcast ad brings in a return on ad spend of $2.42, according to the Podcast Conversion Benchmark Report by Podsights?

Between October 2018 and July 2020, Podsights studied 532 podcast campaigns by 232 brands. Here’s what they found.

Why Podcast Ads are Worth It


First of all, these campaigns drove revenue of more than $34.3 million. The conversion rate of the 532 studied campaigns ranged from 0% to 9.5%, with the average conversation rate for these podcast ads being 1.13%. Conversion rates are defined by Podsights as, "the number of attributed users that visited the site divided by the unique users that downloaded an episode. An attributed user is someone from a household that downloaded a podcast." Overall, 58% of the studied campaigns had conversion rates between 1% and 4%. The conversion rate percentages may be in the single digits, but don’t let that discourage you or your clients. “A 1% conversion rate is higher than the average conversion rate on many social media platforms,” says Podsights.

Of course, there are industries that fared better with their podcast ads’ conversion rates than others. Retail’s conversion rates reached an average of nearly 3.5%, with personal finance and credits cards nearly neck and neck behind it at an average of around 2.5%. Other industries that had podcast ad conversion rates of above 1% were:

  • Fashion: around 2.2%
  • Meal Delivery Services: around 2.2%
  • Technology: around 1.7%
  • Automotive: around 1.7%
  • Banking and Finance: around 1.2%
  • Education: around 1.1%
  • Home: around 1.1%

Purchase Conversions

But let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? How many of these conversions led to sales? Well, about 266 of the 532 podcast campaigns surveyed included a purchase pixel in their ads. Purchase conversion rates ranged from 0% all the way to 50%, with the average at 7.71%. Overall, only 15% of these campaigns had purchase conversion rates of under 1%.

The industries that had the highest percentage of average purchase conversions as a result of their ads varied significantly from those with the top conversion rates overall. Human resources took the lead with around a 29% average purchase conversion rate. News and politics wasn’t far behind with an average of around 26%, and events and attractions came in third with an average purchase conversion rate of about 22%. The only other industry to get an average purchase conversion rate from their podcast ads of more than 10% was credit cards at about 11%.

19.3% of American adults have listened to an audio podcast within the last 30 days, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. And 10.5% of adults in the U.S. have taken action within the last 30 days because of an ad mentioned on an audio podcast they were listening to.

If your client is worried about dipping their toes into podcast ads, you could suggest a multichannel campaign. That way, their advertising eggs aren’t all in one basket. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, other forms of media that caused Podcast Listeners to take action included ads on social media, TV commercials, sponsored search results and direct mail ads.