Despite podcasts being around for the best part of two decades, the Podcast industry has begun to take shape in recent years. There were more listeners in 2020 than ever before, and when you consider the increasing role and evolution of audio content is playing in our everyday lives, it’s perhaps little surprise that 2021 is set to be the biggest year yet for the industry.
So why are podcasts booming, and why now?
It is difficult to say definitively that any singular thing is responsible for driving the growth of the sector in recent years. In fact, this would be an inaccurate presumption. Rather, a combination of factors have contributed to the industry’s growth, and judging by consumer sentiments and attitudes, there is no reason to suspect anything other than this will continue.
Firstly, content marketing is fundamentally changing, expanding beyond the traditions of written content and brands are embracing a multimedia approach. To engage consumers, brands must now have a mixture of well-rounded content and many are turning to podcasts to engage consumers.
At a time where many are longing for connection, understanding, and engaging discussion, podcasts are one of the few mediums which offer such an intimate setting between host and audience. As a result, and particularly of interest for brands, podcasts have a unique ability to build trust and rapport with listeners. Naturally, this can have a direct impact on the growth and ultimate success of any brand, so their popularity comes as no surprise.
Both domestically and internationally, listenership is also growing. In 2020, over 50% of the U.S. population over the age of 12 had listened to a podcast at least once. These numbers are even higher in countries like Australia, Spain, Sweden, and the highest, South Korea; the latter with over 53% of the population listening to podcasts monthly. A true reflection of an international phenomenon.
Not only is listenership growing, but listeners are also becoming more attractive to advertisers. Younger, more educated and affluent consumers make up a significant portion of listeners, who are often more adept at using ad-blockers or finding ways to stop traditional methods of advertising which has made it more difficult for companies to access younger demographics.
Podcasts, however, present advertisers with a more fluid option for marketing. There are many options when it comes to advertising on podcasts, and companies can select which show(s) align best with their brand, as a way to target their ideal audience. Podcast advertising also allows brands to stay connected to audiences while they’re going about their daily lives, whether they’re doing laundry, heading to work, or going for a walk. This level of access to consumers is priceless.
This combination of factors is set to make 2021 the biggest year yet for the Podcast industry. In a pandemic climate where individuals are longing for connection, an environment where businesses are looking for new methods to engage audiences and grow their brand, and advertisers exploring alternative routes to showcase their products or services to younger, highly educated audiences, podcasts present unique opportunities for everyone involved. As innovation in the space continues, like PODTV’s new streaming TV channel, podcasts will only continue to integrate into every part of our lives. Looking forward to the future, it is no longer a case of when, but how fast will this happen.