conal byne

An estimated $3.6 billion will be spent on marketing by healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in 2019. The ad firm eMarketer forecasts the industry will allocate 2.8% of its overall marketing dollars toward digital. And podcasters are working to capture as much of that for the audio industry as they can.

Proof of that came at the recent Publicis Health Media HealthFront conference with the appearance of a podcast executive. “Audio has come roaring back into how we consume content. When you think about your own personal lives, and your Alexa or your HomePod or your mobile devices, a lot of the content you probably used to consume in other formats, you now get through audio,” iHeartMedia Podcast Network President Conal Byrne told the gathering. “This is a perfect medium to enter into a trusted environment, where people are looking for answers and give them long-form answers,” he said. Fierce Phrama reports he told marketers that it’s not uncommon for podcasts on iHeartRadio to have completion rates around 85%.

Fierce Pharma reports iHeart told pharma executives that there’s a growing body of research that shows how audio ads not only have massive reach—thanks largely to radio’s ability to reach 92% of Americans aged 6 and older each week—but also engage with listeners in more intimate ways than other media.

Gayle Troberman, iHeartMedia’s Chief Marketing Officer, told the crowd that audio reaches Americans “in context,” reminding healthcare executives that a lot of people still rely on radio and value their relationship with air personalities. “Especially in healthcare, marketers are drastically underinvested in audio,” Troberman told the conference.

Read the full story HERE.