How have podcasts become such a phenomenon?


Cristiano Ronaldo was making his Manchester United debut, Steve Jobs was launching iTunes, and Beyoncé was crazy in love. 2003 seems like a lifetime ago now. It was in October of that year that Matt Schichter launched his weekly chat show The BackStage Pass. The show was recorded live and transcoded to 16kbit/s audio for dial-up online streaming. This is widely recognised as the very first podcast.

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Fast forward to 2021 and we take them to the shower, we listen to them while we’re working out, and we have them in our ears when we’re going to sleep. Whether you’re into cross-stitching, obsessed with the Beatles, or learning a new language, there’s a podcast for everyone. According to the figures, there are over 950,000 podcasts and 30 million episodes currently available. 

This week at Bobble, we’re asking; how have podcasts become such a phenomenon?

That’s entertainment

Podcasts wouldn’t be so popular if they weren’t entertaining. Along with educating ourselves and following the news, we use podcasts as a form of entertainment. There’s music, food, fashion, comedy, and true crime among the top podcast categories. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There’s a diverse range of podcast formats in which these topics can be consumed (podmats, if you will). You can have a panel-style format, conversational, story-telling, monologue and everything in between.

This variety has paved the way for podcasting to become so popular today.

Internet killed the video star?

Well, not quite. There’s no denying the fact that video is, and will remain, a highly effective medium in which people consume content. This won’t change anytime soon. But, we use screens so often that many of us find that getting information from audio is a welcome change. Podcasts provide a welcome release from our overly screen dependent lives.

Unlike watching videos, listening to podcasts allows you to multitask. You can get on with household chores, catch up on emails or cook up a storm while you listen to your favourite episode.

Roughly 35% of podcast listeners consume whole episodes without skipping any part of them. And the majority of people listen to an average of seven shows every week.

How can podcasts help your brand?

The growing popularity of podcasts makes them a powerful way for brands to communicate. They’re an effective tool to drive brand awareness, and allow you to connect with your audience, both of which can eventually convert listeners to customers.

Podcasts are a fantastic way for brands to advertise, with data suggesting that 83% of people feel that the host is authentic and natural in the way they deliver the ads. 74% of people observed that sponsors fit well with the content of the show. An impressive 78% of people said they didn’t mind the advertising when listening to a podcast, as they know that sponsorship provides the show with vital support. All of this demonstrates just how effective targeted advertising is. But that’s a whole other blog...

At Bobble Digital, we’re eager to see how the podcasting trend evolves. One certainty is that the way in which people like to consume content is constantly changing. To talk to us about growing your audience and improving your digital marketing, get in touch now.

And if you’d like to listen to a quality podcast right now, sign up to our very own Bobble Pod and let your digital imagination run wild!

  

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