If you’re reading this article then it’s safe for us to assume that you’ve heard of something called a Podcast. In fact, one of our most recent blog posts delved into the finer points of how this popular platform for enhanced free speech came to be (in conjunction with the rise of the internet). However, given the sheer size of the Podcasting industry there is no way we could fit every detail into our last blog post. In this post we hope to delve deeper into this rapidly growing medium where anyone (really anyone) can talk about anything. The question to ask however is, “How does a Podcast become so popular?” Well, let’s start by reiterating some of the basics.
A Recent History
The first RSS feed was created in 1998 by Dan Libby and Ramanathan V. who worked at Netscape. If you don’t know what an RSS Feed is it is basically a place to store compressed audio files. This brings us to 1999 when Napster implemented the idea of downloading these audio files to the consumer mainstream. Unfortunately, this was shut down later for copyright infringement, but was later brought back after data showed that people really enjoyed the ability to download their own audio files straight from the internet. Fast forward a couple of years and Apple releases the iPod, one the first devices that allowed you to bring all your downloaded audio files wherever you please.
Around 2005, we began to see the look of modern day podcasts with the help of iTunes making it extremely easy for consumers to download and find various podcasts with ease. However, what truly kicked off the popularity of podcasts is when the Apple brought the iPod’s technology to the mobile phone market by creating the iPhone; the world’s first smartphone. Being able to download all of your podcasts straight to your phone now increased the popularity of podcasts due to increased ease of access. This is evident from data that show how about 9% of Americans listened to podcasts in 2008, and evolved to to an estimated 23% of Americans listening and downloading in 2017.
The Details Behind The Mic
If you’re new to the podcast scene and are just starting to listen, here is the current Top 10 List of podcasts in the world as of June 28th, 2017.
- 30 For 30 Podcasts
- Revisionist History
- It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders
- TED Radio Hour
- The Daily
- Stuff You Should Know
- This American Life
- The Joe Rogan Experience
Podcasts are rapidly changing the marketing industry; we can even see it changing the world of radio which is decreasing in popularity and market share with Millennials. This is one of the primary reasons businesses should engage in podcasting, even they don’t necessarily have a ton of experience doing so. People who subscribe to your podcast will continue to be engaged as studies show that most people stick with their podcasts they subscribe to for a long period of time. You can literally podcast about whatever you want. People are podcasting about knitting, politics, and crime investigations just to name a few. Podcasting software is inexpensive and barriers to entry are relatively low. Anyone can do it, and podcasting has turned into being as simple as starting your own website these days.
Podcasts are effective and can be very engaging. Listeners tend not to mind commercial breaks with podcasts as much as they do with radio. A recent survey of 300,000 podcast listeners found that 63% of people bought something a host had promoted on their show. When asked if advertising within podcasts had affected their behavior, 71 percent said they’d visited a sponsor’s website, while 62 percent said they’d considered that new product or service. Truth be told, most people just don’t find interest in the ads on radio while podcast ads bring new products to the table needed in the new age of technology. Podcasting also integrates well with your social media and website activities providing you to plug your recent business activities, and letting people know when to read your most recent blogs. Podcasts are also the best format for mobile because they can be easily consumed while on the go.
Stitching It All Together
In conclusion, podcasting marks a very big leap for businesses who need to market and for those who have had the need to speak their mind on a specific special topic. They are a very effective marketing tool but also a tool that can be a lot of fun. With the Millennial generation growing up on podcasts and them now starting to outweigh the baby boomer generation, it would be foolish for upcoming businesses to invest in radio and ignore the new world of podcasting.
Brett Brooks is a Partner at RedFox Creative. For more information or to leave a comment, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.