Go out for a drink with your pals on a Friday night and it’s likely that one of you will start talking about the latest podcast obsession.
Indeed, according to Ofcom, 6 million Brits now download a podcast every week, almost double the figure from 5 years ago.
It’s young adults, however, who appear to have fallen hardest for the medium. Around 1 in 5 aged 15-24 are now regular podcast listeners, with approximately half of all people who tune in under 35. For comparison’s sake, around 29% of regular radio listeners are in their mid-30s or younger.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, comedy is the most popular genre in the podcast universe, with music, sport and TV & film also go-to topics of interest. Though, with over 600,000 shows out there focusing on anything from 14th century murder mysteries to self-help advice, there’s something for everyone.
But what is it about podcasts that make them such a growing draw for brands?
The popularity of podcasts lies in their capacity to feel both personal and communal at the same time. We tune in on our own to escape the world; then re-enter it armed with new facts, jokes and stories that simply must be shared, whether online or in person. This often results in an increased audience.
What’s more, with smartphones, apps, social media and voice technology blowing accessibility wide open, listeners are increasingly using podcasts as supplements to their favourite radio stations, TV shows and newsbrands.
This represents a wonderful opportunity for brands to leverage the integrated ecosystems of media publishers and create contextually relevant, joined-up campaigns; in doing so, advertisers can become a valued – or at least, accepted – part of the content experience for media consumers.
And, with social media, blog posts, emails and web advertising all often falling within the parameters of a podcast’s territory, a brand’s presence doesn’t necessarily have to be confined to the sponsoring of or advertising within the show itself.
So, if your brand is looking to reach potential customers with a medium that dovetails seamlessly with the likes of radio, online and TV, then perhaps it’s time you gave podcasts some serious consideration as part of your advertising mix?