“Every human brain is both a broadcasting and receiving station for the vibration of thought.” — Napoleon Hill
Among the digital PR trends, we are seeing is the explosive growth of podcasting. Celebrities, influencers & experts, media personalities and many others now produce podcasts with varying levels of success. Not only does podcasting enable people to produce highly digestible content that’s easy to absorb “on the go” via mobile devices, desktop computers or on TVs via streaming channels, it also is enabling streams of income, much like blogs. Some are part of sponsorship programs while others host guests at no fee. Many generate income via advertising or subscriber services, such as Patreon. Therefore, they are yet another channel for marketers interested in increasing reach and raising awareness.
Podcasting on the Rise
Not unlike video streaming, podcasting has increased in popularity, as according to this article by Statista, “Back in 2006, only 22 percent of adults in the US were aware of podcasting compared to 75 percent in 2020.” As of 2022, 51 percent of Americans have listened to a podcast and roughly 78 percent are familiar with the medium according to this article by Buzzsprout. There was unprecedented growth in podcasts as a result of COVID-19, and it is expected to continue as “forecasts suggest the number of listeners will surpass 160 million by 2023.”
Although podcasting’s obvious entertainment value has led to its rise in popularity, another significant reason is it provides lucrative opportunities for advertising. There also are benefits for the podcasters, because many podcast producers can expect to charge anywhere between $10 and $50 for every 1,000 listeners, which is two to three times the advertising rate of broadcast radio according to this article by Forbes.
There is further opportunity for revenue as Buzzsprout reports that “60 percent of podcast listeners have bought something from a podcast ad, almost 70 percent become aware of products through podcast ads, and 81 percent say they pay more attention to ads than they do radio, TV commercials, billboards, or even digital ads on social media.” Lastly, they estimate that ad revenue from podcasting will double to $2 billion in 2022. With opportunities to reach large numbers of followers, post ads, and further media outreach, podcasting is yet another tool that should be utilized by marketers.
What’s in it for the PR Professional?
According to Podtrac, four of the five top podcasts are related to news organizations such as NPR and The Daily, and among the top 20 are lifestyle-related shows such as TED Talks Daily and This American Life. So, whether you’re promoting from a comedy, news, sports, or lifestyle perspective, there is an opportunity for everyone who wishes to share their messaging via podcasting.
Two great places to start your search for podcasts – whether for inclusion in your public relations programs or for your own edification – are this article by TechRadar, where you can browse podcasts by category, and this one by Podseeker, which claims to maintain a directory of two million podcasts. Of course, there are more and more podcasts being launched every month, especially by trade media outlets, industry experts and influencers, and you can find out about them via your favorite magazine, information or social media site. Given St. Conti’s current client roster, my personal favorites are the Moore’s Lobby Podcast, produced by All About Circuits and CoreNet Global’s What’s Next?.
Podcasting as a form of media has exploded in recent decades and its growth is only looking to go up. This makes sense seeing as there is plenty of opportunity for both the podcaster and advertisers to make revenue via sponsorship and ads respectively. For the PR professional, podcasting provides many and varying avenues to share messages. If you wish to start a podcast of your own, this article by Geekflare provides 20 tools to get you going.