Podcasting as we know originated from “audioblogging,” which emerged in the 1980s. A few decades later, podcasting took flight alongside Apple, with then-journalist Ben Hammersley formally coining the term in 2004.
As a marketing medium that has experienced countless remarkable changes, podcasting is an explosion fifteen years in the making.
Let’s carefully examine the current state of podcasting and what makes it so successful.
Noteworthy statistics and predictions about podcasting
- In April 2020, Apple Podcast announced that its catalog featured 1 million podcasts. Spotify acquired notable podcasts, including “The Joe Rogan Experience."
- Podcast Insights found that 155 million homes in the U.S. have listened to podcasts, and 45% of those homes have a yearly income of at least $75,000.
- There are predictions that Amazon could also create a podcasting platform. Whether Netflix will foray into podcasting is still uncertain. Whatever the case, the podcast pivot could prove profitable for the two tech titans.
- As further proof of the growing prevalence of podcasts, it’s not strange for job applications in public relations and marketing to inquire about your favorite podcasts.
Who’s who in the podcasting scene?
Podcasting has cleaved into two groups: big podcast and others.
The big podcast segment consists of moneymakers and influencers.
According to PodcastAlarm, moneymakers include:
- Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s “My Favorite Murder,” which made $5 million in 2019
- Dave Ramsey’s “The Ramsey Show,” which made $10 million in 2018
- Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert,” which made $9 million in 2019
- Bill Simmons’ “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” which made $7 million in 2019
Other influential podcasts include, among others, Michelle Obama’s “Higher Ground” and former prosecutor Preet Bharara’s “Words Matter.” In fact, the latter is on the wrong end of a lawsuit as producers demand their agreed-upon payment of $1.75 million in advertising revenue.
The second fraction of podcasting, the others, is made up of, well... the others.
How will podcasts continue to stay profitable?
Having talked about moneymakers in podcasting, it’s only fair to wonder how podcasts make their money.
The current sources of income for podcasts are advertising, sponsored content, and subscriptions.
However, Pacific Content forecasts that soon enough, there will be additional sources of revenue, such as premium content, newsletters, online classes, memberships, and business deals.
The current podcast market
Having morphed from a teetering tactic to a full-fledged marketing medium, the standards for podcasting are at an all-time high.
In terms of hosting, production, guest selection, scripting, and overall performance, there is no room for mistakes in the industry. Advertising has taken a really competitive turn, placing a lot of emphasis on audience size.
According to Swisher and Galloway, soon enough, top companies might only choose to close deals with top-tier podcasts that can guarantee large listenerships or provide great personalities.
Because of the industry’s competitive nature, a spate of podfades—failing podcasts—either burn out or shut down.
As a medium, podcasting is still capable of implementing significant changes. Different ways of creating new and relevant content may come about, and innovations may make it more suitable for specific brands’ needs.
Objectives of podcasting
Podcasting delivers amazing results for public relations agencies, marketing firms, and their clients. They are used for persuasion, influencing, branding, education selling, fundraising and profiting.
Silver bullets for podcasting
Whether a podcast is on its way to popularity or functions more similarly to indie movies, as long as the best practices for podcasting are observed, the desired goal is never out of sight.
Here are some tips for winning at podcasting:
- Gear up. Prepare adequately by getting the recording space in order, investing funds and other resources, and paying attention to detail for each episode.
- Never forget to test run before going live. A test run will let you know if something is askew. Whatever it is can be fixed before slipping through the cracks during a live broadcast.
- Niche down. The riches are in the niches.
- Uniqueness matters and a peculiar personality will take you far.
- Understand your audience. Study them to understand their pain points, needs, and expectations. Resourcefulness always pays off.
- Work hard on networking to promote your podcast.
- Pay attention to properly assess how it’s all going. Constantly make improvements. Tiny efforts add up over time.
- Tame your ambitions. On the one hand, your podcast might become one of the big podcasts. On the other hand, it might not. Whatever happens, keep doing your best.
A do-or-die affair in 2022 and beyond?
Brands are concerned about achieving visibility via every possible medium. However, some platforms or media are more favorable than others to different brands.
While what works for one brand might not work for another, it does not prevent a brand from trying out podcasting. It is imperative for brands, marketing agencies, and public relations firms to figure out their strengths and proceed accordingly.