Podcasts garner more mental availability than other digital channels, study finds

ARN’s neurolab has used neuroscience and sensor technology to see what happens to our brains when we listen to podcasts, showing podcasts gain a unique edge over listeners compared to other digital media. 

The results showed that podcasts amass 44% more mental availability than other digital channels, with podcast advertising also seen as 30% more trustworthy than advertising on social platforms. 

The study titled Intimacy Never Sounded So Good, was led by ARN’s Research & Neuroscience Specialist, Dr Tribikram Thapa (Rana), and ARN’s Director of Research & Insights, Justin Stone.

According to the study, podcast listening improves memory more than other digital channels and highlights opportunities for brands and advertisers who want to connect better with listeners.

Findings suggest brands should: 

  • Be Intimate – businesses should consistently implement a human voice as part of their digital strategy to get closer to audiences. This will be more effective if the voice is familiar to the listener.
  • Be Heard – use post-roll advertising to benefit from the high memory encoding and retrieval during podcasts.
  • Be Seen – campaigns that use audio priming improve the attention people pay to ads on social media by +82%. 

“This latest research demonstrates that podcasts provide an exceptional audio space for uninterrupted cut-through with the added advantage of nurturing existing consumer relations and fostering new connections,” said Dr Tribikram Thapa. 

“This is evidenced by increased attention, high quality memories, and strong levels of trust for what listeners hear in podcasts compared to what is seen in other digital media platforms.

“Businesses should consider podcasts in the mix at a creative and campaign level to further brand image, increase brand connectivity, ensure brand safety, and improve brand salience.”

This is Dr Thapa’s first research release since joining ARN in December 2022. 

Holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Physiotherapy and a PhD in Neuroscience, Dr Thapa has taught various courses related to Research Methodology, Human Anatomy, Neuroscience, and Epidemiology. 

Dr Thapa also served as a Research Fellow at Monash University for three years, where he utilised brain imaging and stimulation techniques to investigate brain function and physiology.

ARN neurolab was launched in late 2020 to provide commercial clients and the audio industry with insights into audio.

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