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Podcasting: The power of audio

11th April 2019


 

Annabelle Rennie writes…

A podcast is defined as “an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download in order to listen to”. The majority can be subscribed to and automatically downloaded to a smartphone or other digital device.

Once seen as a niche medium, podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, with six million UK listeners every week - a number that has more than doubled in five years. Interestingly, the biggest growth in weekly listeners has been in the 15-24 age group and half of all podcast listeners are under 35.

As the millennial generation is one which many brands have found tricky to attract, traditional broadcast and media companies are embracing the medium of podcasts. For example, the BBC has recently launched ‘BBC Sounds’, an audio app which brings together live radio, music and podcasts and Sky Sports has dedicated podcasts for rugby, football and boxing.

National newspapers such as The Guardian are also investing in podcasts to increase ad revenue and direct people to their membership schemes.

While many individual podcasters have turned what was a hobby into a successful career, traditional celebrities are also seeing this shifting media landscape as an additional revenue stream and opportunity to boost their personal brand. ‘David Tennant Does a Podcast’ consistently appears in the top of the podcast charts alongside Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Place’, while Russell Brand’s podcast ‘Under The Skin’ is on its 70th episode.

Podcasts are becoming big business not only for creators, but also for advertisers. Podcast advertising is effective due to two main factors:

  • Trust – similar to radio, podcast listeners tend to be loyal and trust the recommendations made by the host of the podcast (according to research by podcast marketplace Acast, listeners are 76% more likely to buy a product after hearing an ad)
  • Engagement – unlike TV, most people listen to podcasts in a situation when they won’t be distracted (e.g driving, walking or working out) making them much more receptive

As podcasts continue to explode in popularity, more and more people are creating new shows to lever themselves as industry experts, build an audience and boost exposure for their business.

From true crime to comedy, and gardening to Brexit, there are podcasts on just about every topic imaginable, and as the trend continues to grow this provides a rich PR and marketing opportunity.

To speak to us about how you can use podcasts to elevate your business, email hello@genesispr.co.uk

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