Boomers appreciate intimacy, and, like the best of broadcast radio, today’s podcasts are audio experiences in which the listener has a one on one relationship with the host that offers true lean-in immersion.
Today, podcasts have reached a new level of popularity, catapulted by the success of “Serial” which has been downloaded over 80 million times. The percentage of Americans who have listened to podcasts since 2008 has almost doubled.
And baby boomers — 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 — are a target market for podcasts. Not only do they have nostalgia for the broadcast radio they once knew, but there are dozens of podcasts specifically geared to boomers covering topics from DIY to retirement, from cooking to comedy, from technology to old-time radio.
The rapid growth in the use of smartphones and mobile devices in addition to the increased ease of in-car listening – have contributed to the uptick of interest in podcasts. At the same time, the power of podcasts as an advertising medium is only just beginning. Boomers are a logical target for marketers because they control over 70% of our disposable income, and marketers are beginning to appreciate the opportunity they are missing.
The other attractive aspect of marketing to podcast audiences – boomers included - is they are deeply engaged with the advertising. According to a recent poll by Ipsos, 65% of podcast listeners recalled an ad after hearing the show one day earlier, 47% in the past week, and 21% in the past month.
Some of the most recalled podcast advertisers include Dollar Shave Club, SquareSpace, Nature Box, Amazon, and AT&T.
That recall can be attributed to the intimacy of podcasting and the connection with the host. Most podcast ads are host read – and the power lies therein. The wall that usually stands between advertising and programming is permeable. Says The New York Times, “Native ads have perhaps no more traction than in audio journalism. On dozens of podcasts, hosts and reporters are responsible for producing news stories as well as advertisements.”
The only problem until now has been that technology hasn’t allowed advertisers to reach scale through podcasting, which continues to have an artisanal feel. Now, for the first time, new technologies enable the insertion of live reads into publishers’ back catalogues making it possible to maintain that artisanal feel, while providing reach as publishers double and triple the amount of inventory available.
Advertisers looking to straddle the line between scale and intimacy are now able to thread that needle. And boomer audiences will likely be an early beneficiary. Soon, major nationals like auto manufacturers, fast food retailers, banks, insurance companies and others — with millions of over 50s in their sights — will experiment with this evolving medium.