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Why Comedy Podcasts are No Joke for Advertisers

Aug 30, 2023

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? Most people want a chuckle throughout the day, with comedy at the top of the set list for podcast listeners. And the opportunities for brands to reach them are no laughing matter.

Comedy lives in the moment. And while that attracts audiences in droves, the spontaneity and nature of humor may cause nervous laughter for advertisers. But the fact is that podcast advertising on networks like the SiriusXM Podcast Network is brand safe—yes, even on comedy shows—adhering to GARM and IAB standards. And there are levels of brand suitability, giving advertisers control over the types of content their ads run on.

So, let’s get into the reasons why advertisers on comedy podcasts are laughing all the way to the bank.

Comedy podcasts are brand safe

Comedy is the #1 Podcast Genre

If you want to catch a large audience when they’re in a great mood, comedy podcasts fit the bill. The listenership is ridiculous—with 66% of podcast listeners ever having listened to the genre. For this audience, comedy podcasts offer more than laughs. Over half say podcasts provide topic deep dives they can’t get in other media, with 55% saying these shows keep them up to date with pop culture.

Listenership is Still Rising

The peak for comedy podcasts is nowhere in sight, making it a top advertising opportunity for brands. The pace of comedy podcast consumption shows no sign of slowing. We saw a 78% increase in content downloads on Simplecast last year. And that’s not surprising when you consider that 64% of comedy podcast listeners started listening to a new show regularly in the last three months.

Comedy Attracts Avid Podcast Listeners

In comedy and in advertising, timing is everything. With 80% of comedy podcast listeners tuning in daily, the genre can help brands reach audiences consistently. And not only are the vast majority listening frequently, but they’re also listening more—64% listen to multiple episodes back-to-back, giving brands plenty of time to get their message across.

Comedy Listeners Feel Connected to Podcast Hosts

Context is everything in advertising, and being in a comedic context is a good thing. With 70% of comedy podcast listeners saying they feel a personal connection with the hosts, brands can leverage these relationships. Additionally, nearly half of these listeners say comedy podcasts are important for their mental health and wellbeing. And let’s not forget the inherent good vibes. Comedy podcasts bring joy and improve listeners’ moods, with 89% of the audience listening to be entertained.

The Content is Suitable for Audiences and Brands

Now we’re back where we started—but it bears repeating: Brand suitability and comedy are not mutually exclusive. When surveyed, nine in 10 listeners say their opinion of brands is unchanged because they are advertising within comedy content. It’s no different than when brands advertise in other places. And many listeners describe the advertisers on comedy podcasts with positive attributes like fun, likeable, relevant, and relatable.

Serious Campaign Success with Comedy

Content and genre alignment with Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend drove brand equity for an online marketing product among comedy listeners.

Objective: Increase awareness and purchase intent among podcast listeners 18+, while driving lifts in message association through memorable, unique creative and brand messaging.


  • Show & Genre Alignment: Reach an engaged audience of comedy podcast listeners, leveraging contextually relevant themes and genres.

  • Authentic Creative: Connect with leaned-in listeners through genuine and trusted voices to establish strong emotional connection and trust with the target audience.


  • Awareness: +24pt lift in aided awareness

  • Consideration: +12pt lift in brand-specific attribute

  • Purchase: +16pt lift in purchase intent

Ready to Reach Comedy Podcast Listeners?

By now, you’re probably excited about the comedy podcast advertising opportunity. And you’re ready to learn more about the audience—like who they are. You’re in luck. Our 2023 Podcast Trends Report focuses on the who’s who, taking a deep dive into who listeners are by genre and what motivates them, complete with distinct listener personas.

Check out The Who's Who of Podcast Listening.


  • 1.

    Podsurvey Podcast User Study, Q2 2023; Base: Podcast Listeners A18+. n=2,642

  • 2.

    Simplecast internal data

  • 3.

    Podsurvey Study Q4’21, n= 893 Comedy 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.

  • 4.

    Nielsen PAE+ Brand Study Q3-Q4 2021, Lifts shown are statistically significant at 90% confidence interval

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