The Rise of Podcasting: The Ultimate On Demand Content [Infographic]

by Nick Cicero on Nov 28, 2014
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The recent growth of marketing podcasts is a symptom of our thirst for on demand content.

Consumers have more choices than ever before on the types of content they want to consume and where they choose to consume said content.

Netflix, Spotify, Kindle, STEAM, the App Store – all of these have programmed today’s consumer to collect and consume their favorite content types without attachment to a desktop computer.

With 80% of the world’s population owning a smartphone, and that number only continuing to rise, we’re seeing accessibility on a global level unlike ever before.

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And consumers are not just consuming more content on their devices on the go, mobile phones and streaming audio services are replacing traditional audio systems inside many cars (Ford themselves were the first to put Pandora in a car you’ll remember), and as a result less and less consumers are listening to traditional radio.


Enter Podcasting

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Podcasting in short, has been around going on some 15 years. There is no filter, and producers have a near unlimited length to tell their story about whatever they like. On the flip side, listeners can to tune into their favorite shows at their convenience and listen directly on their iPhone or computer.

But while video and blogs tend to take up multiple senses, podcasts are far different.

Sound is the only medium we can consume in parallel.

This means we can consume audio content while we perform other tasks. We can listen to a marketing podcast while we respond to morning emails that will catch us up on latest trends, or listen to a a comedy podcast to keep us entertained on the subway ride home.

Put simply, we can process way more sound than video, and as a result more and more businesspeople are turning to podcasts to expand their knowledge.

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In the past year podcast listening increased 25% in the US, and nearly 1 in 3 Americans have reported listening to a podcast.

Marketing Podcasts like Social Pros, The Beancast, Marketing Over Coffee and This Old Marketing all have grown significantly over the past year, and all of them have worked with brands to help them reach their captive audiences.

But it’s not just about a growth of marketing and business podcasts. Serial, a podcast from the producers of This American Life that details a Maryland murder case from the 90’s, has become a runaway success this year.

According to CNBC, Serial told them they were averaging 1.5 million downloads an episode, and Apple confirmed the podcast was the fastest ever to hit 5 million downloads and streams through iTunes.

With that audience, brands like Mailchimp, Audible and Squarespace have already joined on as sponsors.

Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist network creates content across multiple platforms, but his Nerdist podcast, with more than 5 million listeners monthly himself, is especially important in developing the brand’s reputation and growth of audience.

This audience, combined with the quality of content creation is becoming more and more attractive to advertisers and in October Hardwick signed a deal with Midroll Media to further develop his monetization strategy for the network of shows. 

And in sports, the increasingly popular “Men in Blazers,” has worked with Guinness because what’s more on brand that downing a black brew while talking about football.

Podcasts are only growing in mainstream awareness, and with the rise of streaming audio services for music, you’ll see that people look towards other forms of audio content to entertain and inform themselves.

For marketers, this might mean looking at sponsoring or producing your own podcast if that better reaches your target audience. Fortunately our friends at Convince and Convert recently launched, a directory and search engine of marketing podcasts online today.

They put together the following infographic that breaks down the podcasting landscape to help arm you with info to explore this often overlooked medium.

The rise of podcasts as Business Education

Post Author

Nick Cicero is the Editor at Social Fresh and a Digital Marketing Consultant. Formerly of Expion and Livefyre, Nick has experience building social campaigns for Sony PlayStation, Winn-Dixie, Eminem, Teen Vogue and more. He’s a fan of playing...

  • raheela_n

    Thank you for sharing this, Nick. Before I read your post I thought that Podcasts were out-dated. Now I realise that they should be part of the marketing mix that I use. There are such great insights in your article. Thanks again.

  • Avtar Ram Singh

    This should have been a podcast. ;)

    I’ve noticed tons of marketers and influencers trying to get on the podcast train, but any podcast that’s more than 20 minutes long is not something I’m willing to listen to. Keep your podcasts short. I was listening to a podcast by a fairly influential marketer a few days ago and realized that the podcast was nearly 45 minutes long and that the first 11 minutes they simply plugged in their earlier stuff, an upcoming event and what’s going to be happening at that event.

    I am never going to listen to their podcast again.

  • Nick Robinson

    Well said Nick! I just bought a Ford Fusion, and I listen to nothing but Pandora and podcasts now!

  • Rachel Parkhill

    People are constantly on their phones. Podcasts can pass the time away in a quick and informative manner. I love them and hope their popularity continues to grow!

  • Vernon Foster II

    Great post Nick! This confirms what I’ve already known for nearly a year doing research and helping clients launch their own podcasts. Podcasting is a content medium that doesn’t get in the way and it’s easily consumable. With the average U.S. commute time being somewhere around 25 minutes and new technology like Apple’s CarPlay, it’s easy to see where things are headed.

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  • courtney

    do you mind me sharing your infographics? do you have a prefered way I cite them?