Podcasting as a medium has exploded into the mainstream content space. In fact, around 20 percent of the UK population now regularly listen to a podcast according to Acast UK’s Managing Director, Georgie Holt.

During lockdown popular shows such as Louis Theroux’s Grounded, The FT’s daily News Briefing, Stories of our Times by The Times, The Intelligence from The Economist and Today in Focus by The Guardian have seen millions tune in to get their fix.

But podcasting isn’t just for experienced publishers or broadcasters. It’s fast growing to be a content channel to be reckoned with for marketers too.

With many listeners considered to be a ‘premium audience’, earning over £60 grand a year in the ABC1 category, there’s little wonder that some of the biggest brands across a variety of industries such as NatWest, LandRover, IWC Watches and Net a Porter are taking to the airwaves and reaching their audiences this way.

So, let’s take a look why podcasting should be included in your content marketing program.

1. Podcasts are fully immersive

Average listening figures are anywhere from six to seven hours a week, with the average listening time per episode at 28 minutes, says Georgie Holt.

What Acast, which hosts, monetises, distributes and markets podcasts, is seeing is that when people are listening, they are listening for an extraordinarily long period of time.

“We know that 90 percent of podcast listening takes place on headphones, so it’s a high trust, high engagement medium,” says Acast’s UK MD, Georgie Holt.

2. People are listening constantly & consistently throughout the day

Lockdown has flattened the typical listening spikes at the beginning and end of the commuting day or even downtime in the evening. During the pandemic Acast has seen a flattening of the curve.

“What’s been amazing is we’ve seen more people listening than ever before. During lockdown we’ve had our biggest ever listening figures – we now get 12 million listens in the UK every week,” says Georgie Holt.  

She says ‘listens’ are more consistent and constant throughout the day and when people find a podcast they like, they tend to really stick with it.

3. No podcast topic is too obscure

Think no one will be interested in your B2B podcasting offering? Think again. There are millions of weird and wonderful podcasts out there. There’s even one dedicated solely to ‘crisps’.

Granted they’re not all enjoying the listening figures of Theroux, but they are reaching their niche audiences successfully.

4. As a podcaster, you aren’t bound by traditional editorial restrictions, you can really do what you want

The Acast Podcasting Network plays host to some 10,000 shows. As it’s an open network, podcasters can own their IP and create a show on theme they’re really passionate about. There’s no editorial or advertising restrictions. It’s just you and your audience.

“I absolutely adore that it’s such a democratic and inclusive medium. You just need a mic and something to say and you can pretty much take the leap,” says Georgie Holt.

5. There are several ways to create a branded podcast

You can pay to play – you can sponsor a podcast or buy a sponsored read or buy an immersive ad within your favourite show. You can even pay to take over podcast or place your product within a particular show.

But more excitingly, you can create your own – either using the production skills and know-how of the Acast Creator Network Platform or just do it all yourself and publish your content using the Acast Open subscription (£15-£50 a month) model. Experienced publishers with editorial teams like Campaign Magazine are doing it this way.

6. If your podcast reaches 10,000 ‘listens’, you can even monetise it

It’s likely if you’re reading this you’re working for a brand or an agency and therefore are sceptical that any podcast you’re about to create will reach 10,000 listens.

But it is possible!

And when this happens, you can begin to monetise your show. That’s a carrot worth dangling in front of your CFO.

7. There’s data & analytics

Marketers and advertisers won’t get anywhere without data and analytics and pleasingly most podcasting hosting platforms will give you these as standard.

Basic packages will give you more of a generic understanding of who’s listening, when they’re listening and how many downloads you’ve had. But the more you pay, the deeper the insights you’ll get into the demographics.

You can also pay to promote your own show to target audiences in specific territories, countries, or segments of the market.

8. You can do storytelling

We’ve long been told that storytelling is the way to win our audience’s heart. In fact, I’ve read countless blogs that have detailed how to write the perfect story or mapped out a storytelling arc. Someone’s even written a scientific formula on how to write the perfect story.

Well these guys are gonna love podcasting. An open mic, a captive audience, and a story to tell… this is the medium for budding actors and creatives to shine.

9. Q&As, roundtables, a host & a mic… the format choice is endless

Conversations are one of the most popular formats of podcasts. Have you heard Michelle Obama’s podcast on Spotify? Or Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place?

They use a really simple format that can be emulated regardless of your industry. Indeed, Georgie Holt says these are the most popular styles used in business and tech podcasts.

10. Podcasts build your reputation, but it’s a long game

Sponsor reads and ads you might get an initial quick win or uplift. But creating your own podcast means you need to commit to it for the long game.

For CMOs wanting to shine within the first 12 months of their new job, this can be an expensive gamble. But like any high-stake risks, there are high stake gains to be had.

Georgie Holt says once you get a loyal audience, three-quarters are likely to take action once they’ve listened to your show.

Surely, that’s the elixir we’re all searching for?


Psst. We're now offering podcasting as a service. Get in touch to find out how we can help you. Our experienced editorial team can help you create and produce your own branded podcast. Come and say 'hi' at [email protected]