By Taylor Perry
Digital Project Manager
Podcasts date all the way back to the 1980s, with the development of broadband internet and portable playback devices similar to the iPod. Since then, this niche format has grown into a behemoth—there are more than 700,000 active podcasts and over 29 million episodes. Since 2012, the percent of Americans who listen to podcasts every month has grown from 12% to 21%, and is still climbing.
Since 2004, podcasting has switched from being an outlet for DIY broadcasters to a reputable platform for all audio content. This sets up a great stage for marketers to reach a very focused consumer, who is most likely emotionally connected to the podcast that they have opted into.
Research shows that 63% of all podcast listeners have bought something advertised on a podcast, which lines up almost perfectly with the 67% that find sponsored messages useful. What Makes Podcasts So Popular? Why Should Marketers Care?
Once a consumer decides that they would like to start listening to a podcast, they will most likely subscribe. That automatically helps both the podcaster, by raising their subscribing consumer counts, and also the listener, who gets the convenience of an automatic download once subscribed. Podcasts give the consumer a chance to choose and focus on exactly what they want to learn more about or catch up on. This helps marketers reach niche audiences with products that align perfectly with the audience that listens to the specific podcast.
You can listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime. That may include your commute to work, whether you walk or drive. More and more people are also listening to podcasts while they are at work or the gym. This gives an immense amount of time for marketers to insert pre-roll, mid-roll and outro ads during the podcast. There are also two ways of delivering the ad: there can be a pre-recorded ad that will play and interrupt the content, or the host of the podcast can speak to the ad “natively” and read the script to their consumers. This option keeps the audience engaged and comfortable while they hear the host they are familiar with intro an ad that might align with their interests.
What Is the Podcast Growth Forecast?
As the audio industry continues to grow, more and more Hollywood players are entering the mix and trying to grow in the market as a podcast host. Joe Rogan, Lena Dunham, Alec Baldwin, Shaq, and Amy Schumer are only a few of the celebrities who have entered the market. There are also rumors that new streaming platforms are getting thrown in the mix to take a Netflix approach to podcasts. Having consumers pay for their subscriptions is also a possibility in the future. As of right now, most shows are free, but the premium episodes usually require a monthly fee.
Podcasts are a growing entity, and they are driving a larger audience as the days go on. I think if marketers were to act on this rising performance, it would only improve their campaigns and their clients’ bottom lines.