The concept of podcasts arose in 2004 at the intersection of the iPod and broadcasting as a new way to reach audiences. At the same time, technology was changing how people consumed media online by updating and pushing online content, rather than requiring the user to search for content (think the ever-updating Twitter feed). This was pivotal for podcasts because this shift supported the technology needed to make the podcast universe possible.
Naturally, what came next was the integration of marketing and advertising. “Baked-In” and “Dynamically Inserted Ads” deploy an advertisement either by the host during the show or a pre-recorded bit by the company. While these direct response-ads account for the majority of podcast advertising, branded podcasts—the collaboration between a brand and media company—are on the rise, increasing their $69 million revenue in 2015 to $220 million in 2017, according to Target Marketing. In addition, they give the audience an affinity for the brand as they can “create a deeper connection to consumers that is hard to come by in a 30-second advertisement,” as explained by Fast Company’s Melissa Locker.
In a Nutshell
- Now: Baked-in ads are on the rise and branded podcasts are becoming increasingly more popular.
- Next: Most big brands will capitalize on podcast marketing and create their own content.
- Future: As they continue to gain channel share, podcasts may become the primary channel (edging out radio and tv newscasts) to share information, tell stories and disseminate news.
For brands that are considering jumping into the podcast pool, there are some critical elements to consider before doing so. First, invest in the proper equipment and editing software. Without top-notch audio quality, listeners will swiftly tune out, no matter how fabulous the content is. Next, understand that preparing for and executing a podcast can be time consuming. Plan on 2-3 hours of preparation for each guest, plus the time required to edit each episode. In addition, listeners expect weekly podcasts, deployed onthe same day, just like a television show has its scheduled time slot. Identify if this rigor is something you can adhere to. And finally, be consistent with your concept. Listeners are unable to skim a podcast to see if the material is relevant to them, so it’s important to remain consistent with the type of content you’re producing.
Podcast audiences are attracted to their ease and efficiency. But further, podcasts offer an in-depth and authentic presentation of the news that takes you further into the story than traditional newscasting can. Podcasts not only attract the niche crowds that appreciate these points of view, and if presented in an honest and intimate nature, but also keep listeners drawn in week after week. Understanding a client’s goals and integrating this medium into a strategy that makes sense can be a powerful differentiation to many. This is just the beginning for advertising and content creation.
What We’re Listening To
The Grisko team loves a good podcast. Here’s some of what we’ve been listening to lately.
- Slow Burn – Slate
- TED Radio Hour – NPR
- Stuff Mom Never Told You – HowStuffWorks
- Reply All – Gimlet
- Dr. Death – Wondery
- Death in Ice Valley – BBC & NRK
- The Guilty Feminist – Deborah Frances-White
- 16 Shots – WBEZ & The Chicago Tribune
- 2 Dope Queens – WNYC