Have you noticed an uptick in the number of social media consultants and social brands launching Podcasts?
I have… which got me to thinking, are we seeing a resurgence in Podcasting? Will 2013 be the year of the Podcast? Should your company be considering a podcast as part of your overall digital marketing strategy?
That’s a question a lot of folks have been mulling over this year… so let’s see if the data can help us answer this question.
According to a recent Edison Research Study on the Podcast Consumer, awareness of Podcasting has grown 105% since 2006 from 22% in 2006 to 45% in 2012. Likewise, the percentage of consumers indicating they have listened to an audio podcast has grown 163% from 11% in 2006 to 29% in 2012.
So while almost half of adults 12+ are aware of podcasting, just under a third have actually listened to one. And of those that had listened to one, less than 1 in 5 had listened to one in the last month. And if we stopped there, we might say that the data suggests we can afford to set podcasting aside.
But if you chart the growth of podcast listeners on a graph, as Pew does in their State of the News Media 2012 Report, you see that while small, the growth curve is fairly steady. BUT what the chart doesn’t tell us is the marketing and media world’s interest level in podcasting. Look at the growth of listeners from 2007-2009… pretty solid right? Now go Google Podcasting Statistic Research and see what time period most of the research falls in. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
What did you find?
Ok, for those of you that didn’t actually click the link — what you find is a good bit of data from surveys launched in 2008-2010, with a pretty high concentration in 2008 and 2009. That’s an important data point for our consideration because when marketers get interested in something, especially a technology or platform, they research it. Interestingly, the only really recent podcast research I could find is the Edison study, but I suggest you keep an eye out because I’m thinking we’re going to start seeing a lot more being fielded over the next year.
Why will we see marketers fielding more research?
Mentally plot the 2012 percentage of people who have listened to a podcast on the chart above and pay attention to the angle of the line. Starts to look a whole lot more like 2007 to 2008 right? Which was the beginning of the first significant rise in podcast listeners. So now we just have to wait to see if marketers will follow.
The Mobile Phone Effect on Podcasting
Ok, so hold that thought and lets look at another data point — growth of listenership on mobile phones.
Also from the Pew Report, check out the growth in people listening to online radio in their cars VIA A CELLPHONE.
That’s almost a 100% growth in just one year.
But that’s still only 11% of the population…. that’s what you’re thinking right now aren’t you. And that’s ok… because that’s what I thought too until I started to consider what Apple has done in IOS-6. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Apple baked a podcast listening app into IOS-6. So now 200+ million devices just became 1-click away from discovering or consuming podcasts. That’s kind of huge because if you talk to anyone on the inside of podcasting and ask them why its growth flat-lined, most folks will cite technology and the difficulty of finding and listening to podcasts as a hurdle to non-techie adoption of podcasts.
Technology Makes Podcasting Easy
Which leads us to our final data point for consideration — technology.
Did you know you can record and publish a podcast using nothing other than an iPhone and an app like iPadio? Want something a bit more “high end” sounding. Apple’s Garage Band + a high quality USB mic like the Blue Snowball make podcast production so easy a 4-year old can do it. In fact, you can even use the same setup on an iPad to create a lightweight, highly mobile recording studio with super long battery life, that can record, edit and upload from anywhere with an Internet connection.
The Future Of Podcasting
Is 2013 going to be the year of the podcast?
Truthfully, I doubt it. But, I do think you’re going to continue to see leading marketing thinkers continue to experiment and create new podcasts. This will in turn begin to introduce and educate the marketing masses. And if next year’s Edison report reveals a continued sharp year-over-year growth in podcasting for 2013, well then, 2014 might just be podcasting’s return to greatness.
But that’s just my interpretation of the data. What do you think?