Amazon Finds Podcasts, Voice Connect Emotionally With Consumers

Storytelling through podcasts help brands connect emotionally with listeners, according to data released by Amazon Ads on Tuesday.

When emotions are triggered through a story read aloud, people remember, as the demand for spoken word content continues to rise.

Wondery, an Amazon Music company acquired in December 2020, provides a variety of podcasts.

The deal, reported at about $300 million, closed in February 2021. The company commissioned several studies, now just being released, that found audio creates a strong emotional connection with listeners.

The idea in the 2019 study, to better understand how audio ads on Wondery podcasts make listeners feel. The listeners elicited a stronger emotional response to audio storytelling, compared with visual storytelling. Podcast ads were more memorable than social media ads and more effective at building brand trust, especially at the end of the ads.

The data suggests that the attention span of the listener rises at the end of a podcast ad -- with 38% higher memory encoding at key branding moments -- and tends to fall at the end of a video ad.

In 2021, the company partnered with a neuroscience company to study the impact of audio entertainment on human emotions by looking at biometric responses. Podcasts produce greater emotional responses compared with TV or live radio.

In 2022, Wondery plans to invest in new shows with unique voices such as SmartLess and American History Tellers.

Amazon Ads also sees a growing market for Alexa voice that can integrate into a variety of products like Fire TV, which has about 50 million active monthly users.

eMarketer estimates the U.S. voice assistant market will increase from 131 million voice assistant user in 2020 to 144.5 million by 2024.

The growth Amazon sees in connected TVs and smart speakers means consumers are spending more time interacting with devices. In the U.K., time spent with connected devices grew 25% year-over-year, according to eMarketer.

Alexa now understands advertising context, so consumers no longer need to remember the advertised product. The consumer can say “send me more information” and Alexa will send an email with more information.

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