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Ten Brands That Should Be Advertising on Podcasts

Apr 22, 2020 | Insights

Proceeding in our mission to pair audiences with the ideal advertisers (and vice versa), for this entry we’ve employed the StatSocial Insights engine to calculate the 10 brands whose customer purchase data reveals the largest proportions of podcast enthusiasts among their consumer-bases.

This is some real tip-of-the-iceberg, top-line stuff here. Do you have a podcast for which you could use guidance in finding advertisers? Are you a marketer trying to sniff out which podcasts’ audiences will be most receptive to your brand? When queried, StatSocial provides mountains of detailed, actionable insights (about which we’ll elaborate a bit below) ultimately facilitating the most fruitful of partnerships.

For now, however, we’re going big.

A retro pod and contemporary podcasts.

As a creative medium, it’s been clear for a while now that podcasting is here to stay. But over the past couple of years it has entered its financial boom time. The industry raked in around $400 million last year, and is predicted to reach $600 million in 2020. A drop in the bucket when compared to the billions being invested in radio and TV ads, but staggering growth when compared to the low stakes of only a few short years back in podcasting’s history.

Some podcasters have become household names, and more than a few have become wealthy. Some brands have been broken largely, or even entirely, through their sponsorship of podcasts (we took a look at a few of the more prominent among them — and the podcasts their customers love most — a few months ago). And this ride has only just begun, let’s face it.

What We Know, and What We Do

As background, or a refresher: StatSocial pulls in and compiles all available data relating to any consumer audience about which you’d care to learn.

StatSocial’s affinity datasets are culled from the individual profiles of over 500 million social media users. Our analysis considers over 80,000 unique attributes. As a result, we provide an in-depth breakdown of an audience’s passions, media preferences, influencers, personality traits, and Digital Tribes.

Our reporting reveals things that could not feasibly be learned through hundreds or, truthfully, thousands of surveys and focus groups. StatSocial peers beyond the cultivated and curated identities of social media, and digs into what really makes the various segments of any given audience tick.

We do more than just provide numbers, though, we take what is learned through the statistics and translate that into strategy; such as social media campaigns, influencer partnerships, and, as is our focus here, sponsorship opportunities and brand partnerships.

Our reporting provides an understanding of a given base of customers that is unrivaled in terms of depth and nuance. StatSocial eliminates guesswork and assumptions from mapping out a marketing plan, or pursuing the most fruitful partnerships and avenues of exposure.

Of Specific Relevance to this Entry

Our taxonomies for all varieties of affinities are vast. For example — and of especial relevance here — there are over 3,000 podcasts cataloged and tracked in our taxonomy of the medium’s most prominent titles (in all genres, from politics to sports to knitting). Right out of the box, on the first query, and leaving no podcasting stone unturned, a brand and/or marketer can know with confidence which podcasts most resonate with both the audience they’re already reaching, as well as the as-yet untapped audience with which they hope to connect.

Regarding this matter from the opposite side, StatSocial provides podcast ad-sellers a clear view of their listeners’ varying affinities for every brand imaginable; the insights factoring in our massive taxonomies for virtually every conceivable variety of good and/or service available under the sun. The insights also reveal not only to what other podcasts the audience is listening, but the varying degrees to which they love each.

All of this is invaluable data when seeking to foster mutually beneficial and lasting partnerships, and to dedicate resources most effectively.

Let Us Begin

For this entry, we have used the findings of a well-known and respected retail marketing data platform (an industry standard, and a name we’ll happily provide, along with far more robust statistics, if you reach out to us privately).

The index score measures the degree to which our findings (in this case regarding the brand affinities of podcast listeners) either exceed, are in line with, or fall short of the findings of this unnamed platform’s data.

The portion of Aribnb’s customer-base who are also avid podcast listeners exceeds the baseline by 1.64 times. The portion of StubHub’s users who are also podcast fans exceeds the baseline by 1.45 times.

What the Above Tells Us

These summaries are based on our familiarity with the brands in question, and our general understanding of the relatively self-selecting population who are (currently most) drawn to podcasts. Ultimately, the insights available in a StatSocial report will answer nearly any question to which these top-line insights, or any other insights for that matter, might give birth. We peer beyond the superficial, and dig right into the heart and soul of what makes an audience tick.

Here, however, we’ll look at these statistics as presented. They surely tell us something on their own.

Airbnb

The top result makes perfect sense here. Right off the bat, an online-based business is a natural to find affinity with fans of an internet-born medium. Worth also noting, Airbnb is a platform for the traveler. What better opportunity does life provide for catching up with one’s favorite podcasts than long airplane rides?

While accommodations through Airbnb can be downright palatial, it’s generally considered an affordable alternative to traditional hotel accommodations. Still, jetting off to far flung locales is a bit rich for the blood of many.

We’ll return to this thought in a moment, as it seems to be an overarching theme here. This is no knock on podcasting, nor the brands most beloved by its fans. This is a highly desirable concentration of consumers, all within this one audience.

Our data reveals that users of Airbnb are chilling among this crowd to a degree that exceeds the baseline (again, as clarified above, the findings of a major retail marketing data platform) by over one-and-two-thirds times.

Banana Republic

Of the numerous retail chains owned by Gap, Inc., Banana Republic has in recent times been one of its best performing. After a pronounced slump, an updating of the brand’s mission — moving away from a creative-director-driven singular vision, and instead accommodating the demands of “fast fashion” — has turned things around.

While there are some popular fashion podcasts, the brand’s position on this list is likely attributable to audience overlap with podcasting as a whole. BR was, from its inception, conceived as a store for younger adults of higher incomes. Their customer-base, according to various sources, has pretty consistently hovered between ages 25 to 44, with well over half of their customers earning in excess of $75k annually.

Similarly, recent polling has said that about 45% of podcast listeners earn over $75k a year, with about 79% of the medium’s most dedicated fans falling between ages 18 and 54.

Finally, a theme that recurs throughout this list arises here. Like many once brick and mortar stalwarts, survival has meant finding a place in the e-retail sphere. Banana Republic has done a terrific job of establishing a presence online where podcast listeners, almost by definition, will be gathered.

Banana Republic customers, according to our data, can be found within this audience to a degree exceeding the baseline by 1.58 times.

Ikea

There’s a certain American that comes to mind when picturing the average Ikea consumer. The biggest thing to come out of Sweden after ABBA, Volvo, Ingmar Bergman, and PewDiePie (pity that Army of Lovers never really broke in the states), the home furnishings behemoth brings to mind a collection of our country-persons with whom it is quite easy to imagine bonding over a shared love of ‘Radiolab.’

OrSince Ikea’s minimalist design appeals to the pragmatic, as well as the ordered and tidy, you could be dealing with one who would hardly blanch when admonished to “clean up your room, bucko.” As such, perhaps instead of ‘Radiolab’ it might be the ‘Jordan B. Peterson Podcast’ that they pipe through their earbuds.

A quick glance at StatSocial‘s insights for Ikea’s audience actually suggests that discussing Rachel Maddow’s podcast, or the ‘NPR Politics Podcast,’ might prove most fruitful the next time you find yourself in conversation with a sworn Ikea devotee at a cocktail party. Our point, however, remains true. Not to stereotype, but the stats bear it out. The Venn diagram of Ikea consumers — largely upwardly mobile young adults — and podcast listeners does show significant overlap.

When contrasted with the retail purchase data set we’re using here for our overlay, StatSocial finds Ikea shoppers among the podcast loving throngs to a degree exceeding the baseline by 1.55 times.

Adobe

Acrobat, Photoshop, Flash, InDesign, Illustrator, and on and on. Adobe’s softwares have been as fundamental as any in shaping our contemporary world. They are also some of the most foundational tools of the trades of those working in marketing, advertising, design, and really any line of work where visual presentation and non-verbal communication are essential.

Podcasts appeal to young, upwardly mobile professionals more so than to any other single group, and those of such a description are increasingly working in creative fields. Why this brand would rate so highly with this audience is rather evident after even passing consideration.

If you are a designer, or working in a related field, then you already know there are few jobs that better lend themselves to indulging in an ostensibly audio-based medium, providing countless hours of content weekly. Coders, designers, proofreaders, writers, and others who have spent more than their share of hours immersed in Adobe’s products have often done so with a pair of headphones affixed to their ears. They may be listening to Tangerine Dream, but these days it’s just as possible that they’re cranking out ‘Your Mom’s House.’

Our insights find avid Adobe users are present among the podcast listening population to a degree exceeding the baseline by 1.54 times.

1-800-FLOWERS

Few businesses adjusted to the dawn of a brave new world so elegantly as did 1-800-FLOWERS. A pioneer in direct sales, the New York based, flowers-by-phone retailer was one of the first businesses to offer a 24–7, toll-free number, always open for business. Other companies followed suit (notably, 1–800-MATTRES: “Leave off the last ‘s’ for ‘savings’”). The phone number itself had changed hands a number of times before, in 1986, it finally wound up the property of those who would turn it into a literal pile of cash.

1-800-FLOWERS.com probably was greeted with a wince or two when first suggested as the company’s URL. Now, boldly owning this mixed communications media identity, the company’s official name is 1–800-Flowers.com, Inc.

They are an e-commerce business, which similar to the above entries, makes the reasons for their presence here immediately evident. More crucially, though, they’ve been a regular podcast sponsor since December of 2017. As of February of this year, they were one of the top 10 most prevalent sponsors across the entire medium.

1–800-FLOWERS customers are rubbing elbows with the others of the podcast fanatic set to an extent surpassing the baseline by 1.53 times.

Zappos

Ever more e-commerce graces our list.

We don’t know for certain, but deriving what we’d guess was inspiration from the Frank Zappos* song, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” the British born, California raised entrepreneur, Nick Swinmurn, set about launching an online shoe store, originally called ShoeSite.com.

That name lacking pizzaz, in July of 1999 it was decided they should come up with something less limiting and more snappy. Swinmurn looked no further than the youngest Marx Brother, Zappos*, for his company’s name.

Okay, okay… The name is actually derived from zapatos, Spanish for “shoes.” That said, the site’s inventory has included a wide variety of goods — apparel, accessories, athletic wear, jewelry, etc. — since 2007. In July of 2009, 10 years after the company’s official founding as Zappos.com, they were acquired by Amazon for $1.5 billion (the company’s former CEO, Tony Hsieh, can be heard on a 2016 episode of the ‘We Study Billionaires’ podcast here).

If you were to dig into the StatSocial reports for ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ you’d detect a pronounced contrast of interests, demographics, and personalities when compared to the audience of, say, ‘Serial.’ But when looking at podcast listeners as a whole, it’s only right and natural that internet oriented businesses are conspicuous. Long walks and runs make for terrific podcast time. Maybe that connection is a bit of a reach, but the fact remains that Zappos is the internet’s biggest shoe retailer. We’ve all got to wear shoes, and it adds up that those creatures sufficiently knee deep in the internet to be turning to it for entertainment would also use it in their quests for footwear.

StatSocial’s data finds this well-heeled group to be among podcasting’s greatest boosters to a degree that exceeds the baseline by 1.45 times.

(*These are very, very silly jokes.)

StubHub

While podcast listeners may seek their entertainment via non-traditional media, they must not be mistaken for shut-ins. If they were, they’d have no need for Zappos, after all. They have places to go and people to see.

The places they go, at times, include sports, concert, and theater venues, and the people could include Kendrick Lamar, the cast of ‘Beetlejuice the Musical,’ or the Philadelphia Eagles.

There was a time when, if an event was sold out, you’d have to show up at the venue a couple of hours beforehand and haggle with less-than-reputable businessmen to procure a ticket for a dollar amount well exceeding the face value.

While street scalpers, at least here in New York City, are a thing of the past, StubHub has made readily available to any and all willing to shell out the extra scratch, entrée into nearly any public event which you can imagine.

People attend events (be they concerts, sporting events, lectures, operas, what-have-you, but happenings of sorts to which numerous podcasts are dedicated) and it makes terrible sense that the crowd being grouped together here — meaning, those sourcing their entertainment and information (or, when combined, edutainment) from cyberspace — would also procure tickets to said events from same.

Our findings suggest that the StubHub faithful overlap with the podcast grateful to a degree exceeding the baseline by 1.45 times.

REI

Just because you felt duty-bound to take a selfie from the summit of Kilimanjaro, to post on Instagram, it doesn’t change the fact that you dragged your butt up there in the first place. Good luck connecting to 4G, however. Maybe 5G will fix that.

In the meantime, this audience of podcast Stans have revealed themselves as well-employed travelers, quick to give the gift of flowers, and appreciative of a sweet new pair of kicks to wear when they go see Ariana Grande. This brand’s inclusion on the list goes one better than merely saying these people leave the house. They REALLY leave the house.

Our young, upwardly mobile, podcast listening crew is, if nothing else, appropriately outfitted for some rugged, rough and tumble, outdoorsy activities

Given what we know of this audience, it adds up that it would contain a strong proportion of skiers, snowboarders, rock climbers, and the like.

Our calculations have revealed that REI’s customers are also podcast listeners to a degree that exceeds the baseline by 1.44 times.

Whole Foods Market

Again, we are genuinely trying to avoid stereotypes about who the podcast generation may be. There would be those, however, who might not be entirely surprised to find Whole Foods ranked highly among the brands for which podcast listeners show the strongest affinities.

The same intersection of age and income cited above applies here. It bears repeating that further digging into the metric ton of insights StatSocial has on offer will determine beyond doubt the degree to which this demographic overlap informs this affinity (along with a much more nuanced and detailed analysis).

StatSocial’s data shows that Whole Foods finds affinity among the podcast listening segment of the population to a degree 1.41 times greater than the baseline.

Pottery Barn

While we recognize that it’s a chain store iteration of the aesthetic, this is still pretty handily the most folksy entry on this list. Even while REI celebrates outdoorsiness, it does so in a rather cosmopolitan way.

Pottery Barn takes two inherently folksy words, joins them together, and winds up bringing to your cold, harsh day something akin to a kind hug. The merchandise they sell does the same.

While Ikea sells home furnishings, one pictures their items in the homes of young adults — kids just out of college, newlyweds just having their first kid, that sort of thing — which makes this the first brand on this list that truly smacks of a wholesome and genuine domesticity.

That would be until very recently, where a slight tweaking of the brand has occurred. During these days when fewer and fewer young people — even those with children — are opting to live in the suburbs (or in places even more remote), Pottery Barn has taken to stocking an inventory and cultivating an aesthetic better suited to smaller abodes. If they’re looking to maximize the space within New York dwellings, some manner of vase / bunk bed hybrid could be both practical and bring to the cold, unforgiving surrounds of we New Yorkers a much needed return to simpler times. Back to the times when we used to make, bake, and keep all of our pottery in a barn.

Inquire Within for Genuine Revelations

Looking at the top 10 podcasts the week this entry is being written, things hardly seem overly monolithic. There is diversity in content. In the grand scheme, though, things could surely be a bit less homogeneous.

You have Dr. Phil, Joe Rogan, teenage YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, a true crime podcast, a Rami Malek starring dramatic podcast, a couple of exposé type programs, and not one, but twoGame of Thrones’ podcasts.

People from a rich and varied array of economic and ethnic backgrounds have come to embrace the realization of digital media’s democratizing promise. While there does still seem to be a point of delineation where one is, say, no longer a “SoundCloud rapper” and is simply a mainstream rapper, many of these performers’ biggest fans hardly noticed when that line was crossed.

There are podcasts of all conceivable stripes, many of which are quite profitable, but whose audiences may seem under-represented in a broad-stroke list like this. StatSocial, we assure you, is capable of nothing if not granularity. It is not, however, some big whopping data dump. Everything is organized, comprehensible, and easily navigated, and the team of experts here is all too equipped to clarify and aid you in quickly putting to use all of the many insights provided.

As stated above, this is but a glimpse of the data we have on offer. StatSocial can, and does, get far more specific (Curious about the audience of a specific podcast, or a genre of podcast, or a podcasting network, etc.? We have answers on top of answers).

Take a Sniff Around

Insights on top of insights can be found by the curious reader who chooses to poke around the StatSocial blog here. Peruse the many entries, offering all kinds of insights, studies, and deep dives to better acquaint you with the capabilities of StatSocial.

Throughout the blog are many examples of the sorts of insights that can only be gained with StatSocial.

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