What podcasts do you listen to? As part of the Internet revolution podcasts represent the natural migration of radio to cyberspace where it enjoys a new boundless freedom. You can find podcasts on pretty much any topic you can imagine — from comedy to health & fitness to travel to politics. And its popularity is growing.
The Pew Research Center reports that 17% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month, nearly doubling the percentage (9%) from 2008. And, since 2012, the number of actively hosted podcasts has also nearly doubled, from 12,000 to 22,000.
But how effective are podcasts as an advertising medium? According to AdAge, podcasts not only represent a new frontier in advertising, but are “transforming advertising.” So much so that “audiences are choosing to not skip the ads,” and in some cases are rewinding “to hear them again.”
How is it done? Put shortly, programmers are being given the freedom to craft advertisements that are as entertaining as their shows. To illustrate, when Alex Blumberg set up his own podcasting company, Gimlet Media, he recognized the need to develop a new advertising approach that would allow his company to be successful. Rather than follow the traditional model, where listeners tune out during a commercial break, Gimlet developed “a storytelling approach which has its talent interviewing the advertiser’s employees or customers, not to endorse the product but to authentically convey the key message.”
The genius in this ad model is that it helps “provide a deeper connection” with brands, since the stories are candidly conveyed and believable. In other words, it’s “authentic stories by real people [that are] exceptionally crafted.” And it’s paying off, as “clients are paying a premium to try the new direction, and audiences are opting in for the ride.”
In sum, podcasts provide an innovative way to reach a targeted and engaged audience that wants to hear the stories surrounding your brand. To get involved you can either work with established podcasts who are successfully breaking the mold, identify and team up with a rising star, or brave the cyberwaters by launching your own podcast. Just make sure your efforts are authentic and exceptionally crafted.