More than half of listeners that use podcasts to sleep remember ads the next day

Acast survey shows sleep podcast listeners are still highly engaged

Listeners that fall asleep to podcasts are still considered a highly engaged audience for advertisers, according to Acast’s latest survey. 

The reseach uses data from four online quantitative studies of multi-weekly listeners (449-502 per study) conducted in July 2023 via OnePulse, looking at listener behaviour habits around using podcasts to fall asleep. 

According to the report, 54% of survey respondents who have used a podcast to fall asleep can remember an ad that they listened to the next day and more than 30% ended up making a purchase after waking up. Over 40% also said that they are less likely to skip an ad when listening to a podcast while they’re falling asleep than if they would be while listening in the day. 

There are two types of listeners when it comes to using podcasts to fall asleep, according to the report. 36% of listeners that use podcasts to fall asleep are likely to tune into podcasts that fall into the Sleep and Relaxation, Fiction, and Health and Wellness categories. The other type of listeners make up 64% of that category, with the majority tuning in to Comedy and True Crime podcasts.

“While both listening types engage similarly with podcast ads when trying to fall asleep, advertisers should approach them differently,” said Acast director of research and insights Tommy Walters. “For advertisers investing specifically in Sleep and Relaxation and Fiction podcasts, it’s important to understand that these listeners tend to be males in the 25-44 age range and therefore the ad should be relevant for that audience. Conversely, advertisers eager to reach this audience demographic should consider advertising on these podcast genres.”

The report also highlights the level of trust that podcast listeners have with the hosts of the show when falling asleep to a podcast, with 9% being more likely to trust hosts than people who don’t use podcasts to fall asleep. This can be an opportunity for podcast advertisers to invest more into host-read sponsorships that resonate more with podcast audiences in order to continue building brand trust and awareness. 

Advertisers should also be careful about the placement of their ads in a podcast when considering podcast listeners that use them to fall asleep. According to the report, over 50% of listeners take between 10-30 minutes to fall asleep, so placing a pre-roll or mid-roll ad in an episode will mean that it is more likely to reach listeners that are falling asleep to podcasts. 

With many podcast listeners using shows to either fall asleep or to relax, a number of podcast platforms have invested in making this content more accessible to listeners. This includes Spotify, which recently partnered with mental wellness brand Calm to make 11 of its shows available to stream across its listening platform, including ones like Calm for Sleep and Calm for Stress & Anxiety.