Using Audience & Genre Targeting for More Relevant Podcast Ads

Feb 15, 2022

Everyone has a favorite podcast these days, and with over 116 million monthly U.S. podcast listeners,1 we know your audience is out there listening.

By now, maybe you’ve started making moves to get in on the podcasting boom, and we’re here to talk what’s next for you to reach your local markets. It all starts with using a podcast ad network, rather than advertising on a single show, to scale your brand message. But how do you get even better engagement and target your customer across the podcast universe? The answer is with contextual audience targeting.

Unlock Audience Segments for Better Engagement

First, let’s say you’re a local retail brand selling athletic-wear, looking to reach women aged 25-34, living in New York. You can target them by age, gender, or geographic location on a podcast network.

Now, some of your core customer base may be moms. Here’s an example of how you can target at a deeper level. You can align with this audience segment by contextually targeting them across the content they care about, and even discover potential customers who are outside of your demo by targeting a segment like fitness junkies.

All this is to better align your brand message to podcasts that are most relevant to your product offering. And this resonates on a much deeper level with your listeners, which can lead to positive ROI for your business (seeing as 66% of listeners are more likely to engage with ads that are relevant to the content they’re listening to).2 

Contextualize Your Ads with Genre & Transcription Targeting

Not only is targeting across audiences a way to deepen contextual relevance, but you can also target by podcast genre or episode. Going back to our previous example of moms, maybe you want your ads to run on True Crime shows. Or maybe you want to reach those fitness junkies on health-related podcasts. You bet you can target your ads this way as well. 

Some national brands make a big splash with show-level host-read ads. But for smaller businesses, network targeting across many shows is more cost-effective, scalable, and allows for better precision in your local market. This type of combined approach aligns with listening behavior too, since the average podcast fan listens to over 5 different shows a week.3

And with the power of Transcription Targeting, you can target specific episodes, or even spanish-language podcasts. Transcription Targeting is a technology that transcribes the content of podcasts on an episodic level, and it’s available for podcasts within our network.

One use case for Transcription Targeting could be if you want to target podcast episodes about exercising. Perhaps there’s an entertainment podcast that has an athlete on to discuss exercise programs. This would be relevant to your brand, and you’d miss out if you chose to only target the health category. 

Aligning with the niche content your audience cares about is the best way to serve relevant ads to your consumer. And it’s important to not disrupt the listening experience whenever possible, as 72% of listeners would rather hear or see ads that are relevant to the content they’re listening to.2

Bringing it All Together with SXM Media

Our leading audio brands—SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher, and more—reach 55 million monthly podcast listeners across our content,4 and we make sure you’re able to target your listeners wherever they are. If you’re interested in learning more and want to get started, talk to our sales team today.



1. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2021, Base: Total U.S. Population 12+ listen to a podcast in the last month

2. Pandora Soundboard, Q4 2020

3. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2021, Base: Total U.S. Population 12+; Smart Speaker Owners 12+

4. Q3 2021 Internal Metrics from Podcast User Logs

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