4 Reasons You Can’t Ignore Podcasts Anymore
2020 marks the year of many things: the start of a new decade, a presidential election, and, of course, a global pandemic. But it will also be remembered as the year of podcasts.
The podcast industry spiked in 2019 and has since reached new heights in popularity. According to the website Podcast Hosting, in just two years, the number of podcast shows doubled from a little over 500,000 in 2018 to over 1 million in 2020. Half of U.S. households consider themselves “podcast fans” and 104 million people listen to a podcast at least once a month, while 68 million listen weekly. These numbers continue to grow rapidly, making podcasts a platform full of unique opportunities.
The number one reason why businesses cannot ignore podcasts anymore: their marketing potential. Podcast listeners tend to respond more positively to advertising. Half of TV viewers say they ignore TV ads, while 81% of podcast listeners claim to pay attention to ads. Because listeners start to trust their favorite podcast host and feel a connection to them, this increases ad approval rates so that 54% become more likely to consider the brand. Not to mention, most people listen to an episode all the way through, showing their engagement with the content. They understand the necessity of ads to keep the shows running and accept them as part of the podcast experience. Companies need to start capitalizing on this platform where customers feel more open to advertisements.
In addition, podcasts draw a specific demographic of listeners. Podcast Hosting writes that almost one-half of all listeners fall between the ages of 12-34, 25% have a four-year college degree, and 41% earn an income of over $71,000. Podcasts attract young, educated and successful professionals. If a company targets this demographic, then it needs to enter the podcasting world to reach them.
As the platform grows, comedy has become the most popular genre, followed by education and news. Even so, there remains thousands of untouched niches. One million podcast shows may seem like a lot, but compared to the 31 million YouTube channels and over 500 million blogs, podcasting still has a long way to go to reach its full potential. Before the market gets flooded, businesses should find their niche and carve a unique space for themselves in the industry to gain a following of people interested in that specific topic.
Lastly, the market for live podcasting events has expanded. Hosts don’t hesitate to step away from the microphone and connect with listeners in a new way. Podcasting events and conferences can bring together hosts, content creators, brands, and listeners. In addition, livestreaming a podcast will maximize engagement across all platforms by providing interactive content that solidifies the relationship between a host and their listeners.
Because of its marketing potential, specific demographics, unexplored niches, and opportunities for events and livestreaming, podcasting has quickly established itself as a developing platform for people to laugh and learn. Every year the industry grows, along with its marketing potential. Companies should jump on board either with high-quality shows or by forming a relationship with a host and selling ads. If brands don’t want to get left behind as the industry matures and adapts to new technology, then they need to stop ignoring podcasts and start taking advantage of this unique platform.
– April Hooper ’22