Podcasts are evolving from a niche format to a mainstay medium. With figures and data reinforcing podcast growth, one cannot help but question: “Is podcasting the next big thing – or is it already?”
This post takes a look at the dynamics behind the massive growth of podcasts and the substantial opportunities it offers for both creators and businesses.
We’ll give you some pointers on how to approach it responsibly and cleverly, as well as discuss the enormous benefits that you can extract from podcasting over the long term.
We can count on them to bring new ideas to the table consistently
Podcast Growth: The Numbers
According to Buzzsprout, around 90 million people – or 26% – in the United States listen to podcasts every week:
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, other statistics suggest that:
59% more time is spent listening to podcasts than using social media.
There are 3 million podcasts, and though that might sound like a hefty number, the pool shrinks dramatically when you consider those that are actively publishing or have produced more than 50 episodes. Despite what some might think, the podcast space is relatively uncrowded compared to other forms of media like blogs.
For perspective, there are 600 million blogs on the web.
Did you know that the United States is somewhat behind the curve in podcasting compared to other countries? China, for example, has seen a massive podcast boom. The U.S. may still be teetering on the edge of its inflection point, meaning there’s a considerable potential for growth.
With a limited number of active podcasts, the medium is still in its early stages — creating a window of opportunity wide open for newcomers.
High Stakes Podcasting Potential
The podcasting medium isn’t just grabbing attention, it’s grabbing some serious capital as well. Household names like Joe Rogan inked deals of $200 million, and companies are also willing to acquire established podcast networks for staggering sums.
Spotify, for instance, bought ‘The Ringer’ for $250 million and immediately took its founder, Bill Simmons, onboard as the head of podcast innovation and monetization:
Does this spell an easy path to riches for aspiring podcasters? Not quite. While these high-profile examples show the potential for big payoffs, they also underscore the need for quality content that captures and retains a loyal audience. So, if you’re thinking of cashing in on your podcast someday, be prepared for the long haul — it’s a game of patience and strategic growth.
Capitalize on Your Expertise
If you’re in the business of building an audience, you can’t ignore podcasts as a viable channel.
But where should you start? If you’re starting a podcast from scratch, you should begin by establishing a firm understanding of the topic at hand:
Whether it’s a business podcast aimed at billionaires or a niche podcast for hobbyists, quality research and a deep understanding of the subject matter will set you apart. Invest time in understanding your chosen topic thoroughly.
Conduct interviews, pore over research papers and scour online forums to know what makes your audience tick. It’s this level of expertise that will make your podcast stand out in a crowded market. For those considering a multi-media approach, incorporating video content alongside your podcast can elevate your brand to new heights.
Snippets, clips or even full episodes can be uploaded to platforms like YouTube to increase discoverability. These visual elements not only add another layer to your content but also provide an additional touchpoint for engagement with your audience. Video snippets can be shared across social media, pulling in more viewers who may eventually become regular podcast listeners.
Quality Over Quantity: Why Excellence Is Non-Negotiable
When planning your podcast, don’t make the mistake of diving headlong without adequate preparation. No matter how eager you are to join the podcasting bandwagon, remember that content quality directly impacts audience engagement. Whether it’s asking incisive questions in interviews or creating well-researched, insightful narratives, quality matters.
A podcast riddled with mistakes, poorly researched topics or uninspired commentary won’t take long to plummet, taking your reputation down with it.
So what’s your plan? Be better than the vast majority. That’s your ticket to the big league. Focus on one type of thing so you don’t dilute your audience, and concentrate on being the most insightful, entertaining, audible content creator in your niche.
Last Words: A Future-Proof Channel?
While there’s no crystal ball to predict the future of podcasting, one thing is clear: If you’re not tapping into the podcasting channel, you’re missing out on an enormous, growing audience.
Remember the keys to monitoring and capitalizing on podcasting as it continues to grow more prominent:
- Expansive Growth: Podcasting is an evolving field that shows tremendous promise, with millions of weekly listeners in the U.S. alone.
- Global Trends: While some countries like China have already experienced a podcasting boom, the U.S. market is still wide open for new entrants.
- High Stakes, Big Rewards: The industry is witnessing massive investments and acquisitions, setting a lucrative precedent for quality content creators.
- Strategic Opportunities: Whether you’re in it to create or merely tap into the ecosystem, podcasts offer myriad avenues for engagement and audience growth.
- Quality Matters: As in any other medium, a half-baked effort won’t cut it. In-depth research, strategic planning, and consistent quality are non-negotiables for success.
In a nutshell, podcast growth is more present than it’s ever been. Whether you’re looking to start your own podcast or invest in advertising on one, the time to act is now. From expertise and multi-media strategies to quality and monetization, succeeding in the world of podcasting requires a well-rounded approach.
But most importantly, it requires a willingness to dive in.
If you’re ready to amplify your brand’s voice with a podcast, Single Grain’s podcast marketing experts can help!👇
For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.