Podcasts Gains Ground to Radio Spots

Podcasts gain ground to radio spots
Podcasts gain ground to radio spots

Radio spots are probably the most complex advertising format for creatives. Creating a message that is surprising, memorable, funny or moving without the help of the image – be it still or animated – and in a few seconds, requires being in possession of an almost divine creative gift. And even so, there are many radio campaigns that have gone down in the history of advertising, as we already told you in this post.

However, times are changing and data shows that the investment of brands is increasing in podcast and programmatic audio. Here we tell you some of the keys that have made these new ways of advertising on radio successful.

Are podcasts the natural evolution of radio?

As we wrote in this post, radio is a great advertising ally, especially in times of crisis, being a medium that generates more trust, enjoys greater credibility and offers a close company.

However, podcasts and on-demand audio respond to a new era where users have the power to decide what to listen to and when to listen to it.

The programming of conventional radios responds to a very wide audience and its contents move between a limited number of topics depending on the space on the grid. 

In contrast, podcasts offer very specific thematic content aimed at smaller niches such as the podcast “Understand your mind“, in which a group of experts in psychology explains the functioning of the human mind. With just over 150 deliveries, this space has become the second most listened to during 2020 on the Spotify platform.

Deep down, podcasts are a natural evolution of conventional radio, something that is happening in many other mass media that have been adapted to a user who wants to have control over what they consume, how they consume it and when they consume it. And since, fortunately, there is a technology that allows it, we are talking about media that are first cousins, totally complementary and never exclusive.

But of course, brands have understood this difference and every day more have gone from inserting radio spots to creating, sponsoring or participating in podcasts to reach a much more specific audience and in a closer and emotional way.

Benefits of the presence of a brand on podcast compared to radio spots

The consumption of audio on-demand does not stop growing. In USA, the average number of Internet users who claim to have listened to a podcast in the last month exceeds 50% (2019 Digital News Report data).

And according to Digilant, an international company specializing in programmatic buying of media and data management, the advertising investment in the United States has doubled in three years: 314 million dollars invested in 2017 compared to the 659 million investment with which it is estimated will end this year.

It is clear that this jump is not taking place solely because of the audience data that supports it. There are added benefits that have made the presence of brands on podcasts gaining ground over formats such as conventional radio spots:

1. Consumption intentionality increases brand recall

Listening to a podcast is a deliberate act. Either because you have to look for it on a digital platform or because you have to subscribe, something that does not happen with the radio that we listen to while we are at home or driving.

Therefore, while the radio sometimes acts as a mere accompaniment, the podcast is listened to with more attention because one of these objectives is pursued: information, fun, training or inspiration . And for that reason, those brands that resort to their advertising formats get a greater memory among their attentive listeners. 

2. The geographical scope of listening increases coverage

The signal of conventional radios is local and is subject to a series of geographical and technological restrictions due to its transmission system. This, in advertising terms, has its good part and its bad part: the geographical segmentation is maximum but the scope of coverage is more limited.

In the case of podcasts, we are facing a “new radio” that has no time or geographical limitations, being international and without technical restrictions, another benefit that makes many brands choose to sponsor these spaces or create native content for them.

3. The selection of niches increases engagement

As we pointed out before, the radio is aimed at a more general public and the contents are dominated by current issues that interest public opinion. Meanwhile, podcasts address much more specific topics and with much more particular approaches that give rise to a more intimate and special sound experience.

And this is very beneficial for brands that want to improve their engagement . According to data provided by Google, brands “invited” on podcasts arouse 52% more interest and curiosity than those that are only advertised through conventional radio spots .

4. The format increases the durability of the message

Radio spots last as short as the seconds they are in the air. Later, along with the rest of the radio content of the program, they disappear. And although today digital stations allow the listening of their programs “delayed”, they are not designed for this, something that does happen with podcasts that, unless their creator removes them, can be consumed at any time, weeks, months or years after its original broadcast.

5. Little saturation increases differentiation

The podcast advertising market is still very virgin no matter how much investment is growing by leaps and bounds. And since there are still very specific brands that are committed to including them in their media strategies, that gives them greater visibility and differentiation than those that stick to the broadcast of radio spots or other more conventional formats.

6. The market price increases profitability

If a brand wanted to produce its own podcast, it would be surprised how cheap it is and, consequently, how profitable it can be, not only in economic terms but in terms of notoriety, engagement, memory … and the rest of the aspects that we have valued in the previous points.

If we compare it with the rates that micro-spaces, sponsorships or radio spots have when they are broadcast in national coverage, it is evident that it becomes a very weighty reason that justifies that more and more brands are betting on this new radio format.


We do not know if saying that podcasts are the modern children of radio is going a bit too far, but what is clear is that radio and podcast are two means that complement each other. It is necessary to know their similarities and differences to use them profitably, especially when it comes to a brand.