Audible is one of the largest audiobook subscription services available, allowing you to hear a wide range of books and podcasts anytime, anywhere. Not only do they offer a large selection of classical and well-known books and podcasts but they even create original content that can’t be found anywhere else.
In our fast paced society, we are always on-the-go and audiobooks and podcasts provide a convenient way to listen or learn no matter where you are. Before we dive into what they’re doing on the sponsorship front, let’s take a deeper look at the growth of podcasts and audio sites over the past few years to gain a broader understanding of the relevance of Audible as a service.
To give us some context into the captive audience of audio books and podcast listeners, a fast fact to consider is that 50% of all US homes are podcast fans. This reveals, straight off the bat, that Audible has got a huge demographic ready and waiting to find out about this great app.
When we narrow this demographic down a bit, we find that 57% of baby food households are podcast listeners, meaning that families are listening in. This simultaneously narrows and widens the demographic as it includes a wide age range of listeners. What’s more is that 69% of those in the poll agreed that podcast ads made them aware of new products or services.
Finally, just to give it one final push over the edge, 80% of listeners listen to all or most of each podcast episode and listen to an average of 7 shows per week. With these stats in mind, let’s dive into Audible’s sponsorship strategy and why it matters.
A first glance at Audible’s brand page on our platform reveals that there is no doubt that Audible is crushing it in the sponsorship space. They have racked up 33,000 mentions from over 3,000 ThoughtLeaders since the beginning of their sponsorship strategy almost 12 years ago.
These numbers come at no surprise once you become familiar with YouTube and Podcast channels. A quick look at any successful channel and you can almost be sure to see Audible mentioned there.
They have sponsored Brian Kibler 170 times and Accelerate Your Business Growth 345 times! Let’s briefly take a closer look at these YouTuber and Podcaster relationships.
Brian Kibler is the host of a gaming channel, and although it might not be the first vertical that comes to mind when it comes to Audible sponsorship, it is clearly a vertical that works. It could be speculated that those interested in the gaming industry spend a good amount of time simply listening and watching which is what could make Audible such a great fit here but a closer look shows that this sponsorship has a 4 year history and therefore Audible connected with the right audience at the right time and have maintained a long-standing relationship between Brian Kibler, his audience and their brand!
What’s more is that Brian Kibler is not really considered a big channel when compared to some gaming channels out there. Our platform is tracking his channel at 40K average views (in contrast to let’s say, PewDiePie, who we’re tracking at 5M average views!) So, we see another piece of the puzzle of this long-standing relationship is that Audible is clearly getting the returns they’re looking for at a decent price! Instead of spending big on a huge gaming channel, they’re sticking with what works and slowly but surely creating a connection with an audience that’s listening!
When we look at Audible’s longest podcast sponsorship a similar storyline emerges. Over a 6 year period Audible has sponsored 345 podcasts with Accelerate Your Business Growth, a podcast with a (very) modest 43 iTunes reviews. Again, we see an interesting, and not at all obvious, vertical being approached here with a podcast founded in business, particularly targeting small business owners.
What this tells us is that Audible’s strategy lies in finding the right small channels who have a strong audience relationship that can give Audible the returns they’re looking for to create long-lasting relationships within the sponsorship world!
But don’t take our word for it, let’s take a deep dive into the data!
In a search of content mentioning “audiobooks”, we find as many as 3,704 Thought Leaders discussing the subject. Narrowing this down to content that is likely sponsored we see the number shrink to 1,824 - still a nice amount when you take into account the niche of audiobooks!
What’s overwhelming is that of this data, 1,203 Thought Leaders also mentioned Audible. This tells us that as high as 66% of sponsored content mentioning audiobooks also includes Audible. This is across all formats of content including YouTube, podcasts and newsletters. So with this frankly astounding success in mind, allow us now to examine Audible’s strategy.
For the most part, Audible’s sponsorship strategy has been to attack the YouTube space and follow suit on podcasts. But when we reverse the data to identify more recent activity, we see that they’re stepping up their game in the podcast space over the past 2 months.
We see that in September 2020 Audible was mentioned by 55 ThoughtLeaders with 179 overall mentions but then just over the past month, from the start of December to January 2021, Audible was mentioned by 67 ThoughtLeaders with 208 overall mentions. Admittedly, the growth here is nothing to turn heads up about there is clear evidence of an increased testing in the podcast space.
By taking a look at Audible’s tried and trues as well as their new testing phase, it’s clear that there is a lot to be learned from this sponsorship giant. Whether it’s new verticals, creating lasting relationships with creators or being open to testing in new spheres to break out of your sponsorships comfort zone, Audible has created a unique blueprint for success.
We at ThoughtLeaders will definitely be keeping our eyes peeled on Audible’s podcast strategy throughout 2021 to see how they grow into this space. By tracking their growth we can learn a lot about what strategies they’ll be adopting moving into the new year!