The Purchasing Power of Podcast Fans

First in a Series

Jay Green | Cadence13

We all buy snacks, and many of us drink carbonated beverages and use beauty products. But with the explosive growth in podcast listening, we wondered — how does the typical podcast fan engage with these everyday products? We needed to know more.

Cadence13 collaborated with Nielsen to find out just what the podcast fan household brings to the table. Over the past year, we studied the purchasing habits of podcast fans across a number of genres and consumer packaged goods categories. Here are the key findings of our first study.

It’s Not Just Who…It’s How Much

Podcast fans are spenders. The average US household spends $3,981 on consumer packaged goods (CPG) annually. When we take a look at households with podcast listeners, the CPG spend jumps to $4,036. Fans of specific podcast genres, such as Sports, and TV & Movies, spend even more annually.

  • Sports Podcast Fan Households show a +2.0% in annual CPG spending or $81 more per year.
  • TV & Movie Podcast Fan Households show +1.7% in annual CPG spending or $67 more per year.

The numbers above spark interest but as we delve deeper into specific CPG categories, the takeaways are even more dramatic.

Snack Time

With podcasting fans making up 56% of the snack category spend, it’s becoming increasingly obvious why advertisers are analyzing budget shifts and targeting the on-demand audio audience. When we look at snack buying, households with podcast fans spend over $12.9 billion annually in the category. It’s safe to say that cheese fingers have ruined more than a few mobile devices.

Previously released Nielsen data showed that the intent to purchase a product received a lift when associated to a podcast and influencer, with 69% of listeners agreeing that podcast ads made them aware of new products or services. (Nielsen Digital Media Lab, 2017 Podcast Sponsorship Study).

Now that we know the podcast audience influences over $12.9 billion in snack purchases annually, overall podcast households are outspending general households by 4.5%. It should come as no surprise that Sports podcasts fans are outspending the general population by even more; they spend 7% more annually on snacks. I’m a Mets fan, and given the opportunity to drown my 2017 sorrows in chips or kale, I choose chips every day of the week and twice when Harvey took the mound.

Crack Me a Cold One

From snack foods it’s a small leap to the carbonated beverage category. Podcast fan households are responsible for over $8 billion dollars of the total U.S. carbonated beverage sales, accounting for 53% of total carbonated beverage sales in the US. This is a stat that should make advertisers take notice. The average annual household spend is on par with the general public.

  • Gen Pop — $129.97
  • Podcast Fans — $128.63
  • TV & Movie Podcast Fans — $129.32
  • Society & Culture Podcast Fans — $127.14
  • Sports Podcast Fans — $128.17

We Make You Look Good

One category of podcasting that continues to grow significantly is female-hosted programming. Across all podcast categories, we are seeing female audiences grow. Since beauty products and cosmetics continue to be major spenders in the advertising ecosystem, the question now is, does podcasting make sense for this category?

The answer is a definitive yes. The average household spends $95.45 while overall podcast fan households are spending 7% more per year, on average. Annual per household spending for Beauty products breaks out as follows:

  • Gen Pop — $95.54 per year
  • Podcast Fans — $102.00 per year
  • TV & Movie Podcast Fans — $103.24 per year
  • Society & Culture Podcast Fans — $103.48 per year
  • Sports Podcast Fans — $103.75

This isn’t to say that this is not necessarily exclusive to female audiences and consumers. Products purchased by male consumers are included.

Where Do We Stand Today?

As brands continue to evaluate new opportunities for their marketing mix, podcasts have opened the door to bigger conversations. By examining the relationship between who the consumer is and and what they are fans of, we can uncover insights in the on-demand audio story on behalf of a marketplace that is hungry (albeit with or without cheese fingers) for compelling content, influencers with passionate fans, and a definitive way to connect with the purchasing power of this increasingly valuable audience.

Cadence13, together with Nielsen, will continue to identify and understand categorical listener behavior so that brands and agency partners have the opportunity to understand where podcasting fits into their marketing mix model.

Jay Green
SVP, Digital Strategy and Analytics


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