Advanced Television

Research: Podcasts can pay off for telecasts

January 18, 2024

According to Hub Entertainment Research’s new report, Can You Hear Me Now?, podcasts can be a valuable addition to the marketing tools used by traditional TV networks or streaming video services.

Podcasts can drive sampling: Among listeners of all types of podcasts, half (50 per cent) say they would be more interested in watching a new TV show based on one of their favourite podcasts. And about half (47 per cent) say their listening to podcasts had helped them discover a new TV show in the past.

This proportion is even higher among young adults, generally the most valuable audience with which to create engagement – 59 per cent of 16-74s would be more interested in a show based on a podcast, while 57 per cent have ever discovered a TV show via a podcast.

TV-related podcasts reach a substantial share of viewers: One in three (32 per cent) people 16-74 report listening to an official TV show-related podcast, a fan-produced podcast about a TV show, or a podcast featuring actors or the creative team of a TV show.

Again, these proportions are even higher among young adults. Half (50 per cent) of those age 16-34 listen to a TV-related podcast, compared with 32 per cent of those age 35-54 or 10 per cent of those 55+.

Podcasts maintain engagement: Among those who listen to TV-related podcasts about current series, almost all (92 per cent) agree that podcasts help maintain their interest in that series between seasons – of which a substantial proportion (39 per cent) “agree strongly”.

Among listeners to TV-related podcasts about older, out-of-production TV shows, a similarly high percentage (85 per cent) agree a podcast can prompt them to search out and rewatch an older series.

The importance of audio: Aside from podcasts, the report discusses other types of audio services, such as streaming music and audiobooks, as well as the ownership and use of various audio devices. For instance:

  • Three in four (76 per cent) of Americans 16-74 report owning a set of earbuds, and nearly as many (60 per cent) report owning a set of over-the-ear headphones. Together, 85 per cent of people 16-74 own earbuds or headphones – or both.
  • Half (49 per cent) of 16-74s say they own a Bluetooth speaker of some type (excluding smart speakers); slightly fewer (40 per cent) report owning a smart speaker.
  • For all these listening devices – whether for personal use in your ear, or with a speaker in a room – listening to music is by far the dominant type of use. There is some usage for listening to TV, but it is far less common than for music.

“In the current world of short seasons of eight to 10 episodes, podcasts – whether official or fan-created – can provide a valuable means for TV series to maintain viewer interest,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “This is particularly important when so much content is available to a viewer, a favourite series 10 months ago could become a forgotten one by today.”

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Markets, Research

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