Some of us remember the golden era, when our lifestyles were shaped around the evening radio show, like ‘The Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney Show’, or ‘The Abbott and Costello Show’ – when radio was King.
The demise of the radio era came with the explosion of the television-set in every household. It’s possible to say, that the television-set replaced the radio show for none other than news and entertainment; it was the romance of the visual and audio connection, that became too great.
So, where does one look to find the next big thing? Enter the Podcast.
I’m not suggesting the podcast will overtake all media platforms like television did back in the days of the radio era, however one must take note that the number of people who listen to podcasts, is steadily rising.
Consistent audience interest means marketers should take notice.
Podcast listening is on the rise for both genders. LinkedIn recently conducted a survey of over 2500 members and found that ‘Millennials under 35 were by far the most likely to listen, with nearly half saying they listened regularly. Those 35-64 years old were slightly less likely to tune in, and those over 65 were even less likely to listen.’
A latest study conducted by Edison Research shows the numbers surrounding podcast listeners are staggering. For example, 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, while 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly. The year over year growth rates for podcast listening have been remarkably consistent, with 10 to 20% increases each year.
Podcast listeners are by far the most loyal and engaged audience of a medium out there. According to AdAge.com, podcasts engage listeners in a way that traditional media can’t.
So, what does this all mean? Are we going back to the way it was? Are we witnessing the rise and rise of the podcast?
While the podcast has only been around for a short while, it is capturing the attention of traditional platforms.
Our busy lifestyles have enabled us to rely more and more on our mobile devices – setting the platform for the podcast. Today we are tuning in to our favourite music, or podcast and far less radio, than our parents and grandparents ever did.
According to other research, 42% of podcast listeners are those between the ages of 18-34 and are listening at least once a week. And the percentage is even greater for parts of the next generation (12-17 year olds).
This might come as a surprise particularly when millennials have grown up being so visually connected with their devices.
While 44% are those with a senior role, (‘C’ suite) who are making time to listen to them. And 36% are those with a less senior role, also revealed by the study.
So, should we all invest in podcasts in the new age?
Podcast listeners are all socially savvy and extremely loyal. They will listen to most or all the episodes in the series and make a purchase resulting from podcast ads.
For marketers, this is golden. The podcasting medium should be thought of as a viable platform for media buy and company investment.
Podcasts should be part of an overall digital strategy because not only is the listener loyal, it requires little effort for the audience to engage.
So, the rise and rise of the podcast gives marketers yet another platform to connect with a loyal audience because listening is something that fits in with our busy, mobile lifestyles.
Whether it’s earbuds while at the gym, in the café, or on the train, the ears can engage. And if we can get our news, information, or entertainment while we engage, all the better.