Podcast watchers more likely to be engaged during ads than TV viewers, according to report

20% of video podcast watchers stay focused on the screen for the entire episode

Video podcast consumers are 30% more likely to stay engaged during video ads on podcasts than viewers of TV ads, according to the Podcast Download Fall 2022 report from Cumulus Media and Signal Hills Insights.

The report revealed that 69% of video podcast audiences keep their eyes on the screen during ad breaks at least some of the time, in comparison to TV ads in which only 39% of watchers keep their eyes on the screen during those breaks, according to the 2017 Nielsen NeuroScience Study “The Mind of a Viewer”.

This is the ninth instalment of the inaugural report in partnership between US broadcast company Cumulus Media and research firm Signal Hill Insights. The report surveyed over 600 respondents who listen to at least one hour of podcasts a week between 23 September and 4 October.

"Unlike push media like radio, TV or even social media, podcasting is a pull medium." said president and founder of Signal Hill Insights Jeff Vidler. “Podcast listeners choose from hundreds of thousands of podcasts to find the ones that speak to them directly. They know the content they’re signing up for. That means the advertiser can feel some comfort that the listener approves of that content."

YouTube and Spotify, both of which offer video podcast content, are continuing to lead the podcast industry as the top preferred podcast platforms according to the report. While YouTube ranked as number one in April 2022, it has since tied with Spotify, with both platforms claiming 22% of survey respondents in October.

Video podcast consumption has increased in popularity in 2022, with 7% of listeners surveyed exclusively watching video podcasts, but audio-only content still dominates as the top preference with 43% of weekly listeners preferring that option. However, 20% of podcast watchers keep their eyes on the screen for the entirety of an episode, according to the report, which is almost double the figure reported in October 2021. 

New podcast listeners who only started listening in the past 12 months are more likely to enjoy the video elements of a podcast, with 59% watching video podcasts compared to 53% of ‘podcast pioneers’ who started listening at least four years ago. Listeners who consume more than six hours of podcasts per week are the biggest consumers of video podcast content, at 64%.