Voiceover and the Effectiveness of Podcast Ads

Miya Kanzaki, Cristina Milizia, and Natasha Marchewka at “That’s Voiceover” in Los Angeles. “The Art of the Podcast Ad” Panel, Hilton Los Angeles Airport.

Voiceover and the Effectiveness of Podcast Ads

I had the pleasure and honor of participating in a small panel discussion at That’s Voiceover, hosted by SOVAS (The Society of Voice Arts and Science) at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport. Guided by Miya Kanzaki, the Creative Director of Studio Resonate, our discourse delved into the nuanced styles demanded by Podcast reads.

(Subsequently, Mia and her colleague wrote this fantastic article for advertisers, but voice actors might want to take note: Proven Creative Tips for Announcer Reads in 2024 and Beyond.)

The focal point of our SOVAS panel was “The Art of the Podcast Ad“, a topic where I represented the voice of a Podcast Host. Cristina Milizia, who rated highly in Studio Resonate audience testing, appeared as the example of a “voiceover-type” ad read.

In regards to voiceover, from a producer’s perspective, two distinct reads come into play, both requiring a conversational finesse—the VO talent read and the Host read. The voice talent’s read is, at its core, as conversational and colloquial as possible. The Host read, while similar, carries a slight distinction as it directly emanates from the podcast host. Crucially, both reads must remain authentic to the brand and vibe of the podcast itself. For the audience, an ad seamlessly woven into the show, akin to a trusted friend, holds the most appeal. Any deviation in tone from the podcast’s established style becomes disconnected and disconcerting.

Yet, a conundrum surfaces when copywriting necessitates accommodating the advertiser’s needs. Concern often arises on their part as they grapple with the challenge of sounding more traditional while also fulfilling their obligation to incorporate products, services, and factual information. Despite this, the approach to the listeners must remain non-salesy, embracing a style that doesn’t disrupt the flow of the podcast.

In essence, the art of crafting podcast ads lies in striking a delicate balance between meeting advertisers’ requirements and preserving the authentic, conversational allure that connects these messages to the loyal podcast audience. (Be sure to read her above post, Proven Creative Tips, for even more insight!)

In preparation for this panel, I did some homework on the effectiveness of Podcast Ads and was impressed by the research:

Here is a synopsis…

Unveiling the Power of Podcast Advertising: A Comprehensive Exploration

In recent years, podcast advertising has emerged as a dynamic and highly effective marketing channel, rivaling traditional forms like radio and even television. In this consolidated blog post, we will explore insights from various sources to shed light on the evolving landscape of podcast advertising.

Podcast Advertising: A Guide to Success

Understanding the Podcast Advertising Ecosystem
The Riverside.fm blog kicks off our exploration by providing a comprehensive guide to podcast advertising. It delves into the fundamental aspects of the podcast advertising ecosystem, outlining how brands can leverage this medium to reach their target audience effectively.

Key Takeaways:

  • Targeted Reach: Podcast advertising allows brands to connect with niche audiences, ensuring that their message resonates with the right demographic.
  • Authentic Engagement: Podcast listeners tend to have a deep connection with their favorite hosts, creating a unique opportunity for brands to authentically engage with potential customers.
  • Measurable Impact: The post emphasizes the measurable impact of podcast advertising, providing insights into metrics and analytics that allow advertisers to track and optimize their campaigns.

Podcast Advertising vs. Radio Advertising

Spotify’s Insight on Podcast vs. Radio Advertising
Spotify, a major player in the audio streaming industry, offers insights into the podcast advertising landscape compared to traditional radio advertising. The post highlights key distinctions and advantages of podcast advertising over its radio counterpart.

Notable Comparisons:

  • Audience Engagement: Podcast listeners are more engaged, with the ability to choose content that aligns with their interests, creating a more captive audience compared to traditional radio.
  • Flexibility and Targeting: The flexibility and precise targeting options in podcast advertising contribute to its effectiveness, allowing advertisers to tailor messages to specific listener demographics.
  • Growing Industry: Spotify’s perspective reinforces the growth trajectory of podcast advertising, indicating its increasing importance in the broader advertising landscape.

Podcast Advertising: More Effective Than TV?

A Deeper Dive into Effectiveness Compared to TV
Our journey concludes with insights from The Podcast Host, offering a deeper exploration of podcast advertising effectiveness, even comparing it to television advertising. This blog post presents compelling arguments for why podcast advertising surpasses traditional TV commercials.

Standout Features:

  • Less Distraction: The less distracting nature of podcast advertising ensures that the audience is more receptive to brand messages, fostering a higher level of engagement.
  • Targeted Storytelling: Podcasts provide a platform for targeted storytelling, allowing brands to craft narratives that resonate with specific audiences, surpassing the impact of generic TV commercials.
  • The Power of Intimacy: The intimate nature of podcasts, where hosts often build a personal connection with listeners, enhances the effectiveness of ads that come on during a podcast.

The collective insights from Riverside.fm, Spotify, and The Podcast Host paint a vivid picture of the podcast advertising revolution. Podcasts offer a unique, targeted, and engaging platform for brands to connect with audiences in ways that surpass traditional advertising mediums like radio and TV. As the podcast advertising landscape continues to evolve, it presents an exciting frontier for brands seeking authentic and impactful marketing opportunities.

(Do check out the video podcast I produce and host with colleague, Kim Wilson, called Speechless! An entertaining and somewhat irreverent take on voiceover, behind-the-scenes.)

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  1. Tracy Lindley

    You always provide the most incredible insight, Natasha! Thank you for sharing your extensive research and experience with us, you are such a gem to the voiceover community!

    • Natasha Marchewka

      So glad you appreciated that, Trace! Thank you for the love’


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