News & Insights

Sonic Science: Your brain on podcasts

Podcasts help listeners to understand the world and engage in their interests — but they’re also a powerful tool for advertisers. Watch part two of Spotify’s Sonic Science video series to hear from the experts, and download our one-sheet with takeaways for advertisers.

624 participants. 8.4K minutes of podcasts. New findings for advertisers on why podcasts resonate deeper.

In 2021, 1.2M podcasts were published on Spotify—which means there’s a podcast for just about every mood or interest. From the biggest cultural conversations to the most specific subjects, podcasts offer us a lot: Fresh perspectives, familiar personalities, news, a laugh, and more. We partnered with research firm Neuro-Insight to create Sonic Science, our largest study to date of how different types of podcasts affect listeners’ mood and memory. We found that while true crime shows evoke low emotional intensity, they have a big impact on memory. Celebrity comedy podcasts engage our global memory centers, activating past emotions and creating new associations. And sports talk? That activates all kinds of neuro-responses.

Conversations are happening all over Spotify. And our ads solutions — from custom builds to self-serve tools — give businesses of all sizes a way to join those conversations.

  • +19%

    Podcasts provide +19% brand breakthrough compared to all other media.

    Source: Sonic Science Research, Neuro-Insight and Spotify, June 2021. All media norms from historical benchmarks
  • +16%

    Podcasts provide +16% higher ad engagement compared to all other media

    Source: Neuro-Insight Power of Audio Post SST Survey, June 2021, N=273, % people agree with the statement

Download the one-sheet

Download the one-sheet to explore the rest of the research behind why podcasts are one of the most engaging forms of media—and how brands can make the most of digital audio.

Download now

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