Podcasts: Your Missed Opportunity

January 21, 2016

I came across a SlideShare presentation this morning claiming that 10 percent of the U.S. population listens to an average of six podcasts every week.

Even as an avid podcast consumer, this figure seemed very high, so I dove down the rabbit hole in search of the original source and eventually unearthed the statistic in question.

According to Edison Research, 10 percent of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast in the last week. Separately, weekly podcast consumers average six podcasts per week. Nowhere in the study does it say that 10 percent of the U.S. population listens to six podcasts per week. Mystery solved.

Still, the Edison Research study had some compelling insight on podcasting. For example:

  • In 2015, 33 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12 listened to a podcast. In 2006, that figure was at just 11 percent.
  • 17 percent of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast in the last month.
  • 36 percent of podcast listeners have a household income of $75,000-plus. For context, only 25 percent of the U.S. population meets that income threshold.
  • Podcast consumers are 17 percent more likely than the U.S. average to follow brands on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re in the marketing business like me, these numbers should resonate. Podcasting is a growing medium, and its consumers are wealthy and more likely to engage brands online.

Midroll Media, a podcast marketing platform owned by Scripps, claims that “65 percent of Midroll podcast listeners have bought a product they heard advertised on a podcast,” and “89 percent of Midroll advertisers consider their podcast ad campaigns in the previous 12 months to be a success.” Again, the significance of those numbers should resonate with marketers looking to make an impact for their clients.

For those who seek earned media, finding your way onto an industry podcast as a subject matter expert is the lowest of hanging fruit. If this is something you want to do, contact someone in COHN’s public relations department; they’ll get you in front of a microphone in no time.

The most ambitious of marketers might even want to pursue launching their own podcast as an extension of their content marketing platform. In theory, any brand can choose to pursue the option, but the success rate in launching podcasts simply can’t be very high. As the prophet Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.”

Not all online sleuthing is as productive as mine was this morning, but I am glad I pulled at that thread. Podcasting is a growing medium with engaged, affluent consumers. As marketers, we would be wise to take note.


What We Learned This Week – January 15, 2016