9 Things We Learned from Ofcom’s 2021 Podcast Survey


7. Podcast Ads – Is it Worth It?

The short answer is yes. All the time advertisers and sponsors continue to pay podcasters to promote their product or service, it is worth having ads.

The long answer is that it’s a little more complicated than that. You may find yourself asking how many ads is too many? How do I find the right sponsors? How much do I charge?

There are plenty of websites which help you with this, and it’s always worth doing your research before pitching to anyone, but the results below hopefully shed some light on who is most likely to respond to ads. This, in turn, will create positive long term relationships with your partners and (hopefully) keep the pennies rolling in.

Of those surveyed, Ofcom found 15% bought products mentioned in a podcast, while 8% bought podcast related merchandise. However, 32% of black and 26% of Asian respondents said yes. Additionally, 14% of Chinese listeners have purchased podcast merchandise.

Similarly, listeners with children are twice as likely to purchase from ads than those without children. Pester power, as it’s known, is especially potent in 0-12 month olds, and 5-10 year olds, though parents of newborns are more likely to buy podcast merchandise. Tweens are also quite persuasive.

This is not a science, but there is definitely evidence here to suggest podcasts with parents or black listeners may find it easier to convert ads into sales. That said, <30% still means low volumes for most shows, and respondents may have only made one purchase, so the actual return will be substantially lower.

In other words, don’t make false promises to advertisers! You’re not selling direct conversions, but brand awareness and identity; find partners who share your audience.

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