New York, NY — Pharmaceutical leaders are meeting customers in their AirPods, according to iHeartMedia President Conal Byrne, because audio is a newly critical space for American content consumption. Eli Lilly, for example, has a podcast called “Elixir Factor,” which spotlights the Indianapolis-based company’s robust R&D alongside its tech and advocacy collaborations. Pfizer’s podcast “Get Science” offers insider guidance on building a scientific career. And Roche’s Genentech is already three seasons in to its trailblazing “Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar.

Genentech’s director of science communications, Robin Snyder, explains that, "Our podcast is another vehicle for showing the breadth and depth of Genentech science, providing a window into our innovative culture. It’s a great reflection of [R&D chief] Mike Varney's philosophy that having fun and doing serious work are not mutually exclusive.” 

“Audio has come roaring back into how we consume content,” Byrne says. “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.” He distilled precisely what makes it such a valuable channel for health care: “This is a perfect medium to enter into a trusted environment where people are looking for answers and give them long-form answers.”

eMarketer analyst Lauren Fisher echoes this notion, saying, “Performance marketers and brands are recognizing the value in reaching consumers who aren’t just tuning in to tune out—they’re tuning in to actively be entertained or engage their minds.” 

Accessing hungry minds is attractive to advertisers too. According to a report last month, podcast advertising revenues will be over $1 billion within the next two years. 

About the Author:

Ben helps spark innovative healthcare thinking as Associate Director of Innovation. Previously on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair, he brings experience in engaging, rigorous storytelling to the healthcare world. Ben’s goals are to move brands to rethink their roles, own their evolving narratives, and maintain vital and vigorous consumer relationships.