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  • Richard Fleming

Join The Podcast Revolution


Podcasts are no longer the domain of the professional broadcasters, rather an ever-increasing tool used by individuals and companies to push their brand.


And the numbers don’t lie. Podcasting is on the increase, and so too is the interest. According to The Infinite Dial, ‘more than one-third of Americans age 12 and over (104 Million) are consuming podcasts regularly, up significantly from 2019’.


Here is another interesting statistic for you … according to PodcastInsights.com, 65% of monthly podcast listeners have been listening for less than three years, which is further confirmation that this form of media consumption is not only growing in popularity, but though podcasts have been around since 2004 the recent spike in interest is something worth investigating.

How we consume news, information, and entertainment is often part of a daily ritual. We are creatures of habit, whether that previously meant switching the kitchen radio to a music station in the morning or having a particular news channel on in the evening in order to catch up on the day’s events.


That also goes for when commuting. If traveling by car that could mean a certain preset on the stereo. If by public transport, perhaps a newspaper.


Nowadays, there is far more choice, and that choice is far more easily accessible. In the past, much of the control was in the hands of the media. If TV or radio, they dictated what was on, when it was on, and in what form. For the written media, your source for news and information was limited.


And then along came the internet, and streaming services, and on-demand, and smart devices … and the power is now very much with the consumer.


You and I have almost complete control over how, when, and where we consume our media, whether that be news to fit our political leaning, music genre and movies of choice, to online courses or even fitness classes.

But why are podcasts on the rise? If the consumer has all this choice, what is it in the make-up of a podcast which makes it so popular?


Well, for one, they are easily accessible. You can listen via a computer or smart device, and do so while on the move, or sat at a desk. Listening to a podcast while jogging, or mowing the lawn, or even as a way of helping you relax before bedtime, the control and ability to still multi-task certainly offer a little insight into the popularity of podcasts.


It is claimed that podcast listeners are more likely to follow brands or companies on social media, and is why this popular portable form of audio content is being increasingly embraced by the business world.


Company websites can be clunky, blogs rarely read, and internal emails instantly deleted. Companies are now finding the best way to get across their message to employees, customers, clients, sponsors, and partners is through podcasts.


That said, as with all forms of ‘marketing’, how the salad is dressed will determine whether people dive in, or politely pass. Remember, the power is with the consumer.

Three key elements to consider when producing a podcast. They must:


Inform | Educate | Entertain


Now, they don’t necessarily have to achieve all three, though that would be amazing. Two would be impressive, but you must try to aim for at least one of the above.


Then you need to address the following:


Tone/Messaging

Duration

Frequency

Equipment

Production

Platform

End game


That last one will help you build, design, and structure your podcast. Listeners DO NOT want to be sold to (inform, educate, entertain), and as creatures of habit they also need to know when they can expect the latest episodes to drop (frequency).


Try to stick with a set duration. Listeners will become accustomed to knowing the podcast fills their drive to the office or the time it takes to collect the kids from school.


Podcasts are a bandwagon worth bearing in mind, and there is plenty of information out there for you to investigate before hooking up your trailer.


NOTE: a former radio journalist, I have been around audio production for more than 25 years, whether producing long-form documentaries for the BBC World Service, or creating company podcasts from scratch. I would be more than happy to lend a helping hand should podcasting be a path you may consider.

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