Ah, podcasts – chicken soup for the ear’s drum. Developed in 2004 by an MTV video jockey and a software developer, podcasts, which were once called audioblogging (yikes), are now a commodity enjoyed by almost everyone. Sure, some people don’t particularly enjoy absorbing information through audio only, yet podcasts are still popping with popularity. In fact, 50% of US households are podcast listeners.
So, why do we love podcasts?
Reason #1: Edutainment
Entertainment designed to be educational – that’s what edutainment means, and podcasts have tons of it to offer. Podcasts are available across many different platforms, each with an extensive library offering listeners a stunning array of topics to learn about in an engaging and entertaining way.
The ability to tune into a podcast while you’re on your way to work (or getting ready to move from your bed to your home workspace) and learn something new from a charming or humorous host is just one of the many pros to podcasts.
Reason #2: Something for Everyone
When was the last time you listened to mainstream radio? Probably when you exhausted all other options after your phone refused to sync to bluetooth. Many would agree – we’re sure – that mainstream radio is fairly basic. You can listen to news, political commentary, sports, or music. Podcasts are a different story.
Besides the stunning array previously mentioned, podcasts can cover a broad spectrum topic or a specifically narrow niche. If you’re a sports fanatic, you can easily find a podcast that covers all of those bases (or hoops, or goals, etc.) However, if you’re more interested in the unusual history of gnomes, you better believe there’s a podcast for you, too. (Yes, we are serious.)
Another essential tidbit to note is that unlike AM/FM radio jockeys, podcast hosts are more passionate about their audiences and subjects because… they likely founded the podcast for that reason. With a strong listener relationship, podcasts flourish.
Reason #3: Accessibility and Versatility
Just like everything else nowadays, we’ve fallen in love with podcasts because they’re available whenever you want, wherever you want, across pretty much any smart device. Not to mention – they are free. With the ability to download podcasts, you can listen to them without being connected to WiFi.
Let’s also not underestimate how much we multitask, especially nowadays as we manage our lives from home. Thanks to hands-free listening, it’s much easier to settle down into some work and put a podcast on in the background than it is to read a book and work simultaneously. By the way, if you are doing that… how?
BONUS REASON #4: Podcasts Matter to Marketing and Advertising
Since the beginning of time, people have always gathered around to listen. There was a strange, untapped intimacy with radio – it was reminiscent of having a conversation on the phone with an old friend. Now, podcasts have that same feeling – and that’s a feeling that marketers and advertisers should take note of.
As podcast listeners build relationships with the host and the individual episodes themselves, they’re also building up their sense of loyalty. Many podcasts are sponsored and have ad reads placed throughout the episodes – yet 78% of listeners approve of these sponsorships because they know these ads are meant to support the podcast itself.
If that’s not enough to sway your thoughts, according to Podcast Playbook which is published by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB,) 67% of listeners reported that advertisements in podcasts are more memorable, while 61% of listeners actually ended up purchasing a service or product featured on a podcast.
Clearly, podcasts have organically established some profound brand loyalty, and it’s vital that we as marketers and advertisers recognize and learn from that.