Why are Podcasts Growing in Popularity

Podcasts are one of the best ways to get your message across to a global audience and podcast transcription makes the content more accessible. According to Grandview Research, the global podcasting market size which was valued at USD 11.46 billion in 2020, is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.1% from 2021 to 2028, and reach USD 94.88 billion. With 75.9 million podcast listeners in the U.S. alone, podcasting has emerged as one of the largest markets in the audio sector.

The popularity of podcasts hit a new high with people being forced to stay indoors due to lockdowns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Infinite Dial survey from Edison One and Triton Digital found that, as of 2021, 41% of Americans ages 12 and older had listened to at least one podcast in the past month, up from 37% in 2020 and just 9% in 2008. In 2020, an estimated 100 million people listened to a podcast each month and this is expected to touch 125 million in 2022.

There are many reasons behind the surging popularity of podcasts:

  • Flexibility: Podcasts are found on many digital platforms, mainly Spotify, iTunes, Apple and Google, and offer a flexible way of consuming content. Podcasts come in various genres, formats and styles, from shows similar to radio programs to conversational podcasts. You can listen to podcasts in the background on a computer, smartphone or tablet while doing other activities like drive, clean, workout, or cook. The flexibility of listening to podcasts while doing other activities simultaneously is a key factor driving market growth, according to reports.
  • Ease of use for business promotion: Podcasts are widely used in business for providing information about new products, and sharing company information, or general information related to the industry. Including podcasts in marketing strategies comes with many benefits. Broadcasting regularly is a great way to connect with the audience and build familiarity. Many organizations are utilizing this audio platform as an influencer strategy to build brand affinity. Podcasts are easy to produce from any location – all you need is a computer and high quality mic.
    Businesses use podcasts to build trust by sharing expertise about their industry. Creating a podcast positions you as an expert in your field. “Podcasting can clearly establish your company as an expert in the topic material, which can directly add to your branding image and relevance. It can also provide you with a captive audience, so that you can help educate potential or current customers. After all, we all know that a well-informed customer is the best customer,” says Marc Atiyeh, CEO of Pawp (in usmagazine.com).
  • Appealing to the younger generation: One of the most striking features of podcast consumption is that it appeals to younger people. A study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that over half of under 35s in the US have used a podcast monthly compared with less than a fifth of over 55s. Younger groups or the “plugged-in” generation usually listen on the move using connected devices that come equipped with pre-installed podcast apps and high fidelity wireless headphones.A Forbes article reported that the median age of podcast listeners is 34, which is younger than broadcast radio (47) and network television (57). Also, the proportion of monthly podcast listeners ages 12-to-34 years old has increased from 27% in 2017 to 49% in 2020. Super listeners, defined as those who listen to an average of five hours or more podcasts each week, are receptive to ads and more likely to buy a product.
  • Education: Today, podcasting is widely used in education. Podcasts increase accessibility, improve teaching and student learning practices, and encourage engagement. Lecturers can broadcast educational content and students can listen to it at any time on their mobile device, regardless of their location. Students can also make their own podcasts for project presentations and other activities. Those who happen to miss classes can download recordings of the lectures. Conventional learning methods are difficult and unsuitable for students with visual impairments or dyslexia. Podcasts fill the gap by eliminating the need to read the material.Podcasts are also a cost-effective way for people gain information on any topic that interests them – from science, technology, history, philosophy, social issues, true crime and space travel to money matters, How Stuff Works, nuances of English language and grammar, and stories behind architecture, infrastructure, and design. People can gain information related to the industry they work in or even learn a new skill.
  • Entertainment: Podcasts have become the latest source for video content streaming providers and television networks, according to a new Forbes report. One of the reasons why podcasts became so popular in recent times is because they can act as a form of entertainment and lift the mood. The audio platform provided the much needed relief from lockdowns and social distancing. Audiences can just immerse themselves in their favorite podcast and get the pleasant distraction they badly need – without having to look at a screen.
  • Connect with a like-minded community: Hosts engage with their audience via newsletters, on social media, and on their website. This allows people to meet others who are on the same journey. They can reach out to those who have similar opinions who can support, inspire, motivate and assist them. A podcasting community can give you access to millions of life-minded people.

The podcasting format offers a variety of options, making it highly suitable strategy for digital marketing. The platform is an ideal way to meet with your consumers and provide the specific type of content they are looking for. Working with an online transcription service provider can extend your reach. Providing a text file of your podcast on your website will enable search engines to crawl the information more easily. The text can also be repurposed into blogs, newsletters and other marketing material.