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News Podcasts Drive Action & More Listener Insights

Sep 6, 2023

Breaking: News podcasts are brand suitable and wildly popular based on the latest listener reports.

Good, bad, comforting, controversial; the news is constantly changing. To stay informed, listeners press play on news podcasts as they get ready, go about their day, and wind down, making it the second most popular genre. This should make advertising in the space a can’t-miss opportunity. But for brands looking to control the context their ads run in, the ever-changing nature of the news makes them hesitant to buy in.  

Here's the headline to change minds: 87% of podcast listeners say their opinion of brands is unchanged because they are advertising within news content. They describe the ads with positive attributes like relevant authentic, interesting, and relatable.

Now that you’ve got the news, let’s get into the brand opportunity.

News podcasts can help advertisers reach listeners daily

Over a Third of Podcast Listeners Have Tuned in to News

What advertiser doesn’t want to reach a large audience? With 39% of our podcast listeners saying they have ever tuned into the genre, news delivers. Two in three news podcast listeners started listening to podcasts in the past nine years, and 71% say they started listening to a new show regularly in the last three months. That means, this audience is both mature and eagerly seeking new content.

Listenership Is Outpacing the Content

News podcast listeners are certainly eager, giving brands the opportunity to delight consumers by supporting the content they count on. Last year, we saw a 45% increase in news content downloads, but only an 11% increase in news podcast content. It’s almost as if listeners are downloading episodes faster than hosts can create them. Short segments, quick facts, and fast headlines aren’t enough anymore—59% of news podcast listeners say podcasts help them go deeper on a subject. Listeners are turning to podcasts for in-depth coverage and expert analysis.

News Listeners Are Engaging Daily

For advertisers looking to reach consumers consistently, news podcasts can get them into their feed. Three in four news podcast listeners say that listening to podcasts is an important part of their daily routine, with 72% saying they listen as they start and end their day. That’s not surprising when you consider that 86% of news podcast listeners rely on podcasts to keep them up to date with news and current events.

Podcasts Are Redefining the News

With the rise of the internet, social media, and the 24-hour news cycle, news is everywhere, but advertisers can cut through the clutter with podcasts. Listeners are turning to podcasts for information from reputable hosts they can trust, subject matter experts, and under-represented communities. Nearly 60% of news podcast listeners say these shows dive into their favorite topics more than other media, and 63% say podcasts offer diverse perspectives and opinions.

Listeners Are Ready for Brand Messages

News listeners come to podcasts with a mind ready to absorb facts, details, and information of all kinds—and that includes the advertisements. Over 94% of news podcast listeners say they’re open to hearing any kind of podcast ad and 94% are taking action. From product research straight on through to purchase, news listeners are motivated by podcast ads.

Newsworthy Campaign Results

Ads on contextually-aligned news podcasts build brand awareness and familiarity for an automotive brand through creative messaging.

Objective: Increase familiarity with the brand’s electric vehicle offering among podcast listeners 18-34, driving lifts in brand attributes through strong, creative messaging.


  • Show & Genre Alignment: Reach an engaged, qualified audience of listeners through news-focused shows to create a seamless brand experience with themes that are contextually relevant to the messaging.

  • Audience Targeting: Leverage news-focused podcasts with strong 18-34 listenership to pinpoint the most valuable in-market auto prospects.


  • Familiarity: +19pts lift in familiarity 

  • Association: +6pts lift in message association 

  • Brand Attribute: +13pts lift in “is a leader in the electric vehicle category” 

Ready to Reach News Podcast Listeners?

Now that you’ve got the scoop, you’re probably eager to get in on the news podcast advertising opportunity. And you’re ready to learn more about this audience—like who they are. Have we got good news for you. In our latest podcast listener report, we focused on the who’s who, taking a deep dive into who listeners are by genre and what motivates them.

Check out The Who's Who of Podcast Listening.


  • 1.

    Podsurvey Study Q4’21, n= 512 News (Non-Political) Podcast listeners 18+ Q. When a brand or product is advertised on podcast shows in the following genre(s) do you think that it makes the brand seem…? Select all that apply. [BASED ON LISTENERS OF NEWS (NON-POLITICAL) CATEGORY]

  • 2.

    Podsurvey Podcast User Study, Q2 2023

  • 3.

    Simplecast internal data

  • 4.

    Nielsen PAE+ Brand Study Q4 2021, Familiarity lift is statistically significant at 90% confidence interval, other lifts shown are directional

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