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Podcasting Digs in Its Heels as Many Marketers Look the Other Way

Posted on the 02 April 2015 by Shellykramer @ShellyKramer

Podcasting Digs in its Heels as Many Marketers Look the Other WayPodcasting has had its ups and downs, and rumors of its death, or comeback, or both, have circulated plenty of times.

But new numbers from Edison’s Share of Ear survey prove podcasting needs to be on every marketer’s radar.

These numbers show that, while its slice of the overall audio pie may be tiny, podcasting is a small-but-mighty medium that too easily flies under the radar of many marketing pros.

Last year, Edison reported Americans still spend more than four hours a day listening to audio. More than half of that time is spent tuned into traditional AM/FM radio, while the rest is a mix of owned music, streaming audio, and other sources.

Where do podcasts fit into those four hours? Less than two percent. But those two percent’ers are hard core loyal.

The Share of Ear update based on information collected last fall and released in January, shows people who love podcasts really love podcasts, preferring them to all other sources of audio.

Share of Ear

There’s no doubt the popular, some would say groundbreaking, whodunit podcast Serial played a role in these numbers; in their report, Edison even gives a nod to the series – the fastest podcast to reach 5m downloads and streams in iTunes’ history.

Serial ramps up for season two later this year, and with other original podcasts rolling out and such a dedicated audience, there’s ample opportunity for brands to get involved.

Speaking to Fast Company, podcaster Alex Blumberg explained: “The rules are different—the listening habits are different, the economics are different.”

Blumberg is the entrepreneur behind podcast network Gimlet Media, and StartUp, a podcast that captures the ups and downs of launching a podcast network. “When you have a direct relationship with your listener you can do really cool interesting things.” he said, adding, “Content production, marketing, the technical distribution, the audience experience, and then the business model: There’s innovation at every one of those layers.”

Gimlet Media’s cofounder and Blumberg’s partner Matt Lieber explained further, “There are a lot of experiments in providing things for the audience to buy, whether it’s subscriptions, events, or collaborations between host producers and their audiences.”

That relationship can pay off for advertisers. Midroll, a podcast advertising network, surveyed 300,00 listeners, and found that 64 percent of them bought products from podcast ads.

Some brands have dabbled in podcasting over the past decade with mixed results. However, I think this niche channel deserves consideration. What about you? Do you listen to podcasts on a regular basis? Is podcasting on your list of things to consider as part of the rich media content you create for your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Additional resources on this topic:

16 Outstanding Podcasts For Marketers and Entrepreneurs
Inside NPR’s podcasting strategy
 Podcast Software Review 2015

photo credit: My Podcast Set I via photopin (license)

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