You may be surprised to learn that some people walking around with headphones on are not listening to the latest Taylor Swift album, but are instead learning about the latest liquor industry news and gaining a few mixology tips.

One hundred forty-four million Americans listen to podcasts, and there’s no shortage of great drink podcasts that provide mixology tips, industry news, and more.

Businesses spent a total of $497 million on podcast advertising in 2018, according to Small Biz Genius. But with the abundance of podcasts seeking sponsorship, liquor companies can benefit from joining that club to gain customers and increase brand awareness. 54% of podcast consumers say they think about buying products advertised during the podcast, making this a new possible revenue channel for brands.

The best wine and liquor podcasts

In a time when so many Americans can’t travel freely, they can at least turn to podcasts to learn more about wine or be inspired to craft a new cocktail. While they’re listening, your brand can advertise or sponsor a podcast as a chance to gain new customers.

There’s no shortage of funny and educational wine and liquor focused podcasts. All your brand needs to do is find one that matches well with the customer base you’re aspiring to gain.

For the cocktail lover that can’t wait to return to their favorite cocktail bar when quarantine is over, The Daily Beast’s Life Behind Bars podcast offers “historical facts about the greatest bartenders and drinks of all time” and ideas for new cocktails to try on your next outing. This podcast boasts an average of a 4.5-star review, making it a solid choice to advertise with.

If your wine brand is struggling to find new customers and perhaps uses grapes that aren’t in many ordinary people’s vernacular, Wine For Normal People helps listeners debunk the mystery behind wine. The hosts discuss wine in a straightforward but fun way to help listeners discover good wines that they might otherwise be too intimated to try.

The popular industry magazine Wine Enthusiast created a podcast that centers around all things wine, from the best New Zealand and California wines, to debunking wine myths.

Podcasts by the numbers

When you log in to Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you’ll be able to find more than 1 million podcasts and more than 29 million episodes, according to PodcastHosting.org. In the United States, 16 million people describe themselves as “podcast fans.”

PodcastHosting.org found that 48% of listeners were between the ages of 12 to 34 years old, 32% were 35 to 54 years old, and 20% of all podcast listeners are 55 years or older.

Of course, not all of those people drink wine or liquor, but it’s a massive segment of the population to target as potential new customers.

How brands can use podcasts to their benefit

Each month 32% of Americans listen to at least one podcast. For brands or liquor stores, advertising during a podcast — even one that’s not specifically about wine or spirits — can help expose your product to new customers.

Do some research on podcasts that might have listeners who would be a good target market for your brand. For example, any wines that boast low calories or low alcohol could sponsor a podcast such as Diet Starts Tomorrow, which has listeners who are interested in wellness. Liquor brands may want to target sports podcasts, such as ESPN’s Fantasy Focus podcast, to tout their product as the perfect game-time drink.

Or, if your staff is the more creative side and still working from home, consider creating your own podcast. This way, you can foster a following of listeners who want to learn about the history of your wines, or upcoming innovations in the industry.

Meredith Galante