As podcast popularity explodes, Asia’s mix of diversity, culture and resources makes it the ideal place for medium. Here, Meg Davies (international managing director, Acast) looks at why advertisers in Asia should pay attention.
Acast’s founder, Johan Billgren, recently said, “Podcasting is so special because it relies on the one thing that’s helped humans tell stories since we first invented language: the spoken word.”
And that has never been more true. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, podcasting has proven to be a discipline that is flexible and creative enough to tackle major changes. In times of crisis, people have frequently sought out the spoken word, and podcast listening figures are today at a global all-time high. For example, Acast, the world’s largest independent podcast company, recorded 3.7 billion listens in 2021.
Heavily focused on expansion to develop the podcasting industry worldwide, Acast has just launched in Singapore as its 15th market, alongside the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and more.
With a population of more than 4.5 billion, a rich and varied culture, and incredible physical geography, environment and resources, the potential for podcasting in Asia is astronomical.
Armed with global knowledge and years of learnings from the world’s biggest podcast markets, we want to share four compelling reasons why advertisers in Asia must today consider podcasts as a priority media.
1.) Podcasting is an immersive and attention-grabbing medium
As a leader in the mobile gaming industry – a highly immersive medium – it can be assumed that Asian consumers will respond positively to a new opportunity to engage in a captivating experience.
A recent research study by Nielsen in the US showed that 61% of listeners agreed that their favorite podcasters “feel like their friends” — a common theme we’ve discovered around the world. And, according to another study commissioned by Nielsen in Australia, 60% of respondents said they are immersed/focused when listening to podcasts. Music streaming and commercial radio, two other major audio channels, sit at 33% and 22% respectively.
2.) Podcast listeners seek out what they want to listen to
In a climate of frequent media consumption, where consumers visit multiple platforms daily, advertisers need to cut-through the clutter by knowing where consumer interest is positively associated. A study we ran through Quantilope– an insights automation company – shows that podcasts are most associated with “escapism, unwinding and relaxing, as well as freedom, curiosity and joy.” Unsurprisingly, considering that technology, business and finance industries thrive in Asia, the most popular podcast content in the region (according to Acast listens) is from the news & politics, society, culture, business, and education categories.
Armed with the knowledge of what consumers think of podcasts, and where their listening is targeted towards, gives advertisers in Asia the tools required to gain and hold intentional attention.
3.) Podcasts command attention with a low ad load
Research last year by Cumulus Media showed that, compared with social media and music, podcast listening commands more than 1.4 times the level of attention. With a low ad load compared to other advertiser channels — just 5% compared to the likes of radio, TV, YouTube and social media, which range from 15-25% — podcast advertising provides the opportunity to stand out and be heard.
Even more important to content in Asia, GWI data shows that people who listened to podcasts in the last week are 47% more likely than the national average to be in senior management positions or higher. Decision-makers are listening.
4.) Podcasting is a powerful, billion-dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing down
Earlier this year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC released their annual joint report on the podcasting business in the US, projecting that the industry will generate $2 billion in revenue this year and $4 billion by 2024. Partnering the monetary opportunities in podcasting with the continued growth of listening figures globally, advertisers in Asia need to take note of how podcasting can create a significant positive economical impact through a highly effective and flexible way to reach audiences.
We see huge potential for podcasting throughout Asia, and there are already signs of momentum building. Acast’s experienced, specialized team of sales and content experts can help advertisers and creators alike to make the most of the opportunity. The potential in the region is evident, the expertise is here, and the time for podcasting is now.