Why Podcasting Isn’t Going Anywhere
With the incredible, exponential rise of consumption and popularity when it comes to podcasting some marketers have taken to insisting that we’re in a podcasting ‘bubble’ and that bubble is set to burst at any moment.
But what’s the truth? Is podcasting but a fleeting moment in the media and communication timeline? Or is it a communication medium that’s here to stay?
In case you’re new to the great big world of podcasting, or if you’ve heard about it before and still don’t have a clue, a podcast is an audio ‘show’ that exists as a part of a larger series and is usually available to download or stream online or through an app for free.
Much like television shows, podcasts can be about pretty much anything; science, music, fantasy-fiction, true-crime, crafts, fitness, psychology, comedy … I could go on forever, but you get the gist.
If you can think of a topic, I’d be willing to bet there’s a podcast on it.
Unlike radio and TV though, podcasts don’t have to pander to any make or break conventions:
- They don’t need to play music (although some music based podcasts will).
- They don’t need to run ads (although you might want to for profit reasons).
- They don’t have to abide by any specific limits when it comes to the time of each episode or the number of episodes in a season or even the number of seasons in a series.
All of these things are completely up to the podcast creator.
So, now that we know what podcasts are, how popular are they really?
Well, in short, very popular and when it comes to marketing, they’re also highly effective.
In March this year, Apple passed 50 billion all time ever downloads and streams across Podcasts and iTunes, a very far cry from the mere 7 billion downloads in 2014. Around the same time, Google announced that they would be entering the game with their own dedicated podcast app and by integrating podcasts into Google Search.
If that’s not enough to convince you that podcasting is here for the long haul, then you should hear the marketing stats behind it. According to research by IAB Podcast Playbook, conducted in 2017:
“67 percent of respondents could name an actual product feature or specific common promotion mentioned in a podcast ad, and 61 percent of listeners indicated that they purchased a product or service they learned about from a podcast ad.”
When it comes to podcasting the word ‘ad’ is used somewhat loosely because it could sound anything like a common radio ad, to the hosts plugging a product or service, to a podcast series that’s created and hosted by a business.
Kurt Kaufer explains it like this:
“Podcast advertising offers authentic, quality and controlled marketing to very specific and engaged audiences.”
And he agrees that this form of advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Podcasting, due to its diverse range of topics and styles and the complete ease of consumption, has the ability to reach and engage a wide and eclectic audience. From the stay at home mum who likes to listen to true-crime podcasts as she does the chores, to the businessman who listens to a dungeons and dragons style fantasy podcast on his commute, or even the family that listens to general trivia style podcasts on their daily drives.
Podcasting has made itself accessible to pretty much everyone who owns a computer or smartphone, and no matter how niche the subject is there’s usually a niche audience searching for that exact podcast.
So what does this mean for you?
Well, the bubble’s not bursting (trust me when I tell you Google would not have invested billions in something that was about to go downhill), and as new listeners continue to jump on the bandwagon the need for quality, original content continues to grow.
People are looking for the type of content that your business can produce. For example:
- If you run a landscaping business, then trust me there are people out there who would find your expertise very helpful.
- If you’re an accountant, then there are always people who want to understand numbers better.
- If you run a hair salon then why not tell people about all the latest trends in hair and inform them about the products they should try and the ones they should stay away from.
It might not be the most direct form of marketing but by creating a podcast you automatically brand yourself as an expert in the industry, and once people have a chance to listen to you and your story you’ll be their first port of call when they need your products or services.
So it looks like this bubble is only going to keep rising higher, the question is, “When are you going to jump on board?”
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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