A November, 2016 research study by NuVoodoo and Amplifi Media covered in Inside Radio validates that podcast selection is not simply a ranking or impressions-only measurement game:
When respondents in a separate qualitative focus group were asked what podcast they listen to, their answers were far more varied than the titles that dominate the most-listened-to podcast charts. “To be sure, the big ones are the big ones, but you can see the ‘long tail’ of choice comes into effect as people choose podcasts to fit their own interests—whether it be news and politics, true crime, educational or aspirational,” Goldstein said.
Time and again, good marketers know that content matters. Not long ago, when print was still relatively internet-free, magazines were the ultimate resource for interest selection. With the explosion of the digital age, magazines are now readily available on electronic devices. What's interesting is that the number of magazines in the U.S. doesn't seem to have dwindled. In fact, the number of magazines for the last 10 years has remained relatively steady.
Successful advertisers understand that key placement in targeted media content is vital. Selection is not merely based on the size of the audience. It's now a choice-driven world. Big reach is still viable, but being where the right listeners are is critical. If magazine circulation was the only benchmark, there wouldn't be a Golf Digest or the Economist. Yet, those subscribers are perfectly segmented for the right message. Podcasts are as varied as magazines with 'subscribers' as well as those who choose to meander through various issues or as we know them, episodes. And like magazines readers, podcast listeners don't always read every issue. But they are undeniably a chosen source for entertainment, information, and exploration.