Over recent years podcasts have been overlooked by many advertisers and regarded best as a means to reach niche audiences rather than mass audiences. However, with rapidly growing listener numbers, this is changing. 

Globally, the podcast audience has been growing exponentially over the past decade with 2021 expecting to see a global audience of around 1 billion listeners, rising to 1.5 billion by 2024. This is becoming a really interesting space for advertisers. Warc have reported that 38% of brands are planning to boost their podcast spend in 2021, with ad spend expected to double to €90 million by 2024.



Earlier this year, Spotify credited podcast popularity for a 24% growth in its subscribers, whilst Google, Facebook and Amazon are all investing heavily into their podcast offering too, highlighting the value podcasts can offer for already established market leaders. A lot of marketing plans are generally built on targeting mass audiences through platforms which can offer the scale to do so. But what makes podcasts so interesting for advertisers is not just their ability to reach a growing number of listeners, but the value of reaching consumers in a highly engaged environment.



Much like radio, podcasts offer an intimate environment whereby the listener feels like they have a one on one relationship with the host, allowing the brand to get into the fabric of the content. With as much as 90% of podcast listening taking place through headphones it makes it an extremely intimate listening experience. Our own Sound Affects research backs this up with 44% of respondents feeling that listening through earphones makes them more connected to their audio.

This has real benefits for advertisers not least because in today’s fragmented media landscape attention is harder than ever to attain.

Podcasts make it possible to build a long term relationship between products and the subscribed listeners who engage regularly with the content. Multiple studies have shown that advertising in trusted environments increases key metrics and podcasts are no different. Research from Acast suggests that 76% of podcast listeners have taken action after hearing podcast advertising whilst Kantar has ranked the ad equity of podcasts second only to influencer based branded content. Sound Affects research suggest 8 in 10 adults in Ireland are willing to listen to at least some audio advertising.

At urbanmedia, we’ve produced podcasts spanning the whole gamut of human emotion, from Grief Encounters which focused on how people cope with loss and tragedy in their lives, to a wedding podcast with One Fab Day helping engaged couples plan their big day. We’ve also created commercial podcasts for the likes of JustEat and recently finished our first government commission on a podcast called Mná 100 which celebrates women in Irish history. Podcasts can be reactive too and when the pandemic hit Ireland in 2020, we produced Viral: COVID-19, Ireland’s first dedicated COVID-19 podcast. 

We’re well versed in understanding how our audiences’ behaviours are constantly evolving and podcasts can offer additional touchpoints to engage, excite and inspire both our audiences and commercial partners.

Source: Warc, Acast, Sound Affects


If you would like a more in-depth analysis of these points or we can help with your advertising needs please contact us at hello@urbanmedia.ie.

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