Should Your Business Start a Podcast?

Posted by Deepshikha Shukla

Podcasts are growing in popularity, and many businesses are launching them to share their knowledge, reach new audiences, drive web traffic and increase brand awareness. Hosting a podcast also provides you with the opportunity to earn money through sponsored content or by creating ads that entice listeners. If you’re considering starting a podcast, the following statistics and best practices can help you make an informed decision.

2019-2020 Podcast Listening Stats and Facts

Why people listen to podcasts: Last year, about 74 percent of consumers listened to podcasts to learn new things and to stay up to date with topics of personal interest, while 71 percent said they listened to be entertained, according to data from Statista.

How many listen: About 55 percent of the US population has listened to a podcast, out of which 24 percent listen weekly, according to Infinite Dial 20. When it comes down to gender, 54 percent of listeners are male, while 46 percent are female. And according to the Statista survey, 51 percent of podcast listeners are above the age of 12, and a total of 39 percent fall in the age group of 25-54 years.

Where and when they listen: Around 65 percent of podcasts listeners in the US and 55 percent in the UK use devices such as smartphones (both Android and iOS) and tablets, and only 25 percent listen on the computer. Some 21 percent of podcast listeners consume episodes in the afternoon, while 38 percent of listeners prefer to tune in during the evening. When it comes to location, 49 percent listen at home while 22 percent do so while driving or traveling.

About users: Infinite Dial 20's research indicates that on average, podcast listeners subscribe to six shows a week, out of which 80 percent listen to all or most of each episode. According to the latest podcast stats, 94 percent of listeners are active on at least one social media channel and are more likely to follow their favorite brands and companies there. Thus, podcasts can increase a company’s website traffic and improve search ranking.

Why advertise on podcasts: Brands that advertise their products and services on podcasts about business, society and culture, news or politics enjoy an average rise in purchase intent of 14 percent, 9.2 percent, and 12.8 percent respectively. Almost 38 percent of podcasts listeners state that they have purchased products or services mentioned on podcasts. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, podcast advertising revenue is predicted to reach $659 million by 2020 and $1.6 billion by 2022, and podcast advertising revenues are projected to surpass $1 billion annually by next year, according to eMarketer 2019 forecasts.

Companies Popular for Podcasting

NPR is the leading podcast publisher, with 23.75 million unique monthly listeners, almost equal to iHeartRadio, which has 23.32 million unique monthly listeners. Others who made the top five as of January 2020 include Wondery, the New York Times and PRX. A little over 30 percent of people prefer Spotify, while 40 percent like Apple Podcasts.

Best Practices to Start a Podcast

Since podcasts don’t require a visual focus, people can listen to them while doing other chores, which is a primary reason for the ever-growing podcast audience. You can plan and start a business podcast to reach your ideal audience in three simple steps:

Know your audience: Make sure the topic is relevant to your target audience and provides value to them. Build a podcast to answer two key questions about your business: Who are your ideal customers? What problem do you solve for those customers?

Create podcast artwork: Teach, educate and give valuable, actionable advice in every episode, including useful tips and insights. Keep episode lengths short and interesting to avoid losing consumers’ interest. Select the right equipment or medium to record your podcast and software to deliver a podcast that sounds great.

Hosting and launching the podcast: Once you’re ready with your first episode, upload and distribute it to the iTunes Store, Stitcher, social media and other podcasting libraries and services. Publishing frequency should be at least weekly, and you should schedule new episodes at the time when your audience is most active each day. Advertise your new episode or podcast on social media, other podcasts and your website to ensure that your audience is aware of it and knows how to find it.

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