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“Journalists aren’t your commercial vehicle, the Publisher is” - Accessing Voices of Credibility

From targeting and creative development to measurement, we offer the most advanced solutions to make your podcast campaign a success.

Kate Lockie, Commercial Partnerships Director EMEA & APAC
June 6, 2023

In April, Acast UK welcomed an exclusive group of media owners to our London office for Sounds Smart: Meet the Publishers to showcase our impressive array of publisher content. This event proved why Acast is the home of premium publisher, as we welcomed speakers from The Guardian, The New York Times, The Financial Times, News Broadcasting, Tortoise Media, The Evening Standard and New Statesman, all in one place - a pretty unique experience to get that many recognised publishers together on stage. 

In a recent study by Newsworks, it was found 79% of UK consumers are concerned about ‘fake news’ and 78% of 16-34-year-olds turn to trusted news brands to fact-check stories they’ve seen elsewhere. This proves it’s more important than ever to trust our sources and make sure we’re relying on credible information. This was the main theme of our event - allowing our agency and client partners to understand why this industry is incredibly important for us as a community and why it’s a powerful space to advertise within. 

News podcasts keep us informed, create an open exchange of ideas and encourage healthy debate, sharing credible commentary and thoughtful analysis, all within the most accessible place to find stories. 

With the way we consume news developing so much over the last decade (from 6pm news and daily newspapers to social media scrolling), podcasting cuts through the noise: we know 90% of people listen through headphones creating the most intimate and immersive environment to talk to an audience. It allows access to the most trusted stories in media, from the most trusted storytellers. 

There is a growing demand for trusted news sources, and this has led to an increase in popularity of news podcasts. At Acast, we’ve seen an 18% growth in listens across UK publishers in the last 2 years, and 1 in 5 news podcast listeners say they use podcasts as their main news source.* That’s a huge amount of scale across news podcasts as audiences become loyal followers of trusted sources to keep informed. 

For advertisers, you’re not only accessing content with wide reach, you’re accessing extensive research, journalistic integrity, exclusive access and high quality production, backed by reputable publishers, in the safest place to put your ears. Pew Centre research recently found 31% agree news podcasts offer a higher level of trust than other sources of news. 

The audience is also one of the most affluent within podcasting. Of podcast listeners that engage with publisher brands: 

  • 69% are ABC1
  • 55% more likely to have £2k disposable income per month 
  • 30% more likely to feel they are better off now than they were a year ago 
  • 53% more likely to to feel their household situation will get better in the next 12 months
  • 18% more likely to feel they are financially secure 

This isn’t the case for a lot of audiences as we manage global inflation and a cost of living crisis, but we know that podcast audiences listening to news are curious, innovative, thought leaders who are financially secure, have disposable income and are accessible through one of the most engaged media environments. 

But what about host reads? To solidify credibility and trust within podcasts, journalists won’t voice host reads, as it contradicts the trust that’s been built over years of credible reporting. Journalistic integrity requires credibility at its core, so hosts won’t always endorse your product. But that doesn’t matter as journalists are not your commercial vehicle, the publisher is. Aligning with the publisher brand is where the value is. You’re accessing quality content, with a trusted brand, achieving premium by association and affiliation.

Publishers will create sponsor reads in the ‘voice of the publisher’, emulating the tone and voice of the publisher brand, something that’s recognised by listeners and builds affiliation over time. And we know they’re as effective as a host read. 

We measured the effectiveness of a host read vs. producer read to prove sponsorships from publishers are as effective, and we got undeniable results. We found:

  • 6% increase in credibility and trust 
  • 4% increase that the advertiser was more premium because of the content and context
  • 6% increase in brand consideration 

Acast is the home of premium publishers. At the start of April, 75% of the top UK commercial podcasts on Spotify were Acast podcasts and 50% of those were from Acast publishers. We’re giving advertisers access to the highest-quality content, the most financially-secure audiences, with the biggest scale, in the most relevant stories. 

Freedom of information is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Access to accurate information is crucial to make informed decisions about our lives and our community, and news podcasts play an important role in providing this information, particularly at a time where we can feel overwhelmed by the latest events and trends. 

Supporting news podcasts is important for the health of the news industry, and by supporting news podcasts, advertisers have a direct impact in keeping freedom of information open and accessible, and ensuring freedom of information remains a core value of our society.

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