Study: podcast advertising is 30% more trustworthy than social media ads

ARN’s Neurolab research highlights the intimacy of podcast advertising

Podcast advertising is 30% more trustworthy to consumers than advertising across social media, according to a new study by ARN Neurolab.

ARN Neurolab is an advanced commercial research lab under Australian broadcasting company ARN, led by its research and neuroscience specialist Dr. Tribikram Thapa (Rana) and director of research and insights Justin Stone.

The new study, titled Intimacy Never Sounded So Good, aims to understand what happens to peoples' brains when they listen to podcasts and how their behaviour is impacted. Overall, the study shows that podcasts are a unique opportunity for advertisers in the current media landscape to improve brand image and connectivity. 

“This latest research demonstrates that podcasts provide an exceptional audio space for uninterrupted cut-through with the added advantage of nurturing existing consumer relations and fostering new connections,” said Dr. Thapa. “This is evidenced by increased attention, high quality memories, and strong levels of trust for what listeners hear in podcasts compared to what is seen in other digital media platforms.”

“Businesses should consider podcasts in the mix at a creative and campaign level to further brand image, increase brand connectivity, ensure brand safety, and improve brand salience.”

According to the research, podcast advertising can also be used to enhance social media campaigns, as 83% of social media campaigns see an uplift when their ads are heard on a podcast first. 

Placement of ads within the podcast can also be very important depending on the goal of the advertiser, as the research shows that post-roll ads lead to better engagement from listeners while pre-roll and mid-roll are better for formation and recall. 

With the increasing development of AI, many podcast advertisers have started to experiment with synthesised host-read ads but the research shows that podcast consumers favour a human voice on podcasts with 80% agreeing that “the human voice can establish connection like nothing else”. Additionally, engagement is also proven to be a lot higher if the listener is familiar with the podcast host. 

ARN Neurolab has released two other studies on audio advertising since the lab launched in late 2020 including Sound You Can See on the different ways people treat audio and audio-visual advertising and A Sound Connection which is an extension of that research on how audio changes people’s perception of ads in other mediums.