How Podcasts Drive Value & ROI for Auto Advertisers

MaryKate Breslin, Senior Manager, Market ResearchApr 3, 2024

Podcasts are the perfect vehicle for auto advertisers looking to pinpoint their most valuable in-market audiences during key moments on the path to purchase. Just consider this: More than one in two podcast listeners who research or shop for vehicles online listen to audio while doing so. And 60% of podcast listeners are considering purchasing or leasing a vehicle in the next two years.

To put it simply, now is the time for auto advertisers to make podcasts an always-on strategy—and we have the data to prove it.

Navigating Economic Speedbumps

With economic headwinds still in play, consumers are traversing the impact, whether it’s for financial reasons or due to production delays. For context, 52% of podcast listeners say inflation, rising prices, or high interest rates have impacted their ability to purchase a car, and 43% say they have delayed a vehicle lease or purchase due to reduced vehicle inventory.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel—71% of podcast listeners say they’d be willing to place a pre-order or custom order for their next vehicle and potentially wait up to 12 months for it. A willingness to wait is important to many manufacturers’ EV pre-launch strategy—and when you consider podcast listeners are more likely to be EV intenders, these listeners are prime audiences for this emerging tech. And as consumers are projected to regain their purchasing power in the coming months, this is the perfect time for auto brands to invest in podcasts. By getting in early and establishing a presence in the podcasting world, auto advertisers can gain a competitive edge in a cluttered market while also building brand equity.

Driving Informed Decisions

From the initial research phase to the final purchase decision, effective messaging tactics can make all the difference in an auto advertiser's success. And as the world has become increasingly more digital, traditional marketing tactics like newspaper ads, radio spots, and billboards have become extraneous in the auto marketplace. Today’s auto intenders rely heavily on online research before making a purchase decision. In fact, 90% of podcast listeners are turning to online sources to fuel their decision-making process.

On average, podcast listeners research 3.5 car brands when considering a new purchase or lease, proving top-of-funnel tactics are a crucial component in a successful auto campaign strategy. This means brand messaging should be creative, unique, and memorable to capture consumer attention and drive awareness while generating both interest and intent. Special deals and offers, specific vehicle features, and financing options are all key aspects when it comes to messaging that resonates with podcast listeners.

Focus on the Features

With podcasts’ numerous targeting capabilities (contextual, transcription, genre, and predictive audience targeting, to name a few), auto brands can unlock their potential for success by reaching listeners who personify their core audience and are most likely to be interested in their vehicles. Whether your audience is the tech-savvy listener, the luxury lifestyle enthusiast, or the cautious consumer, the medium’s comprehensive targeting capabilities ensure your message reaches the right audience across the most relevant shows and topics.

Accelerate Campaign Performance with Podcasts

A recent SiriusXM Podcast Network campaign drove double-digit lifts for an auto advertiser. Using host reads to deliver authentic personal endorsements, the campaign effectively communicated the brand’s features. By contextually aligning shows and brand themes, the ads reached fans of true crime, news, science, and business podcasts, engaging listeners with lifestyles and interests aligned to the brand target. The ads also leveraged a strong call to action, encouraging listeners to visit the brand’s website to find a local dealer to drive them further down the funnel.

The campaign successfully influenced listeners to take action, generating full-funnel lifts.

  • +28pts in Aided Awareness

  • +28pts in Info Seek Intent

  • +28pts in Consideration

  • +25pts in “Is committed to an all electric-future”

  • +24pts in “Is a brand for me”

Embrace the Road Ahead

Today’s auto marketplace is complex, crowded, and competitive. That’s why brands need a strategic approach to attract and engage consumers throughout their buying journey. Podcasts provide a clear competitive advantage, challenging the strength of traditional media platforms. With podcasts, auto advertisers can access the most trusted voices to build credibility and humanize their brand, reach a targeted audience more intimately, and connect with a highly engaged audience during leaned-in moments. If you’re ready to hit the open road and drive your message home with podcasts, let’s talk.


  • 1.

    Pandora Soundboard Auto Study, January 2024. Based on Podcast Listeners A18+ (N=1,284).

  • 2.

    Nielsen PAE+ Brand Study, Q2 2022. Lifts shown are statistically significant at 90% confidence interval.

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