Podcasting and the future – Business, money, brands and journalism

The venue for the podcast conference, The Black Diamond in Copenhagen. Photo: Jeroen Pulles, CC BY 2.0.

Denmark: Thursday the radio industry go to Copenhagen to discuss podcasting. Podcasts have been around for a while and although they saw a slow start the growth in their popularity is now becoming plain to see. RadioAssistant will cover the event and you can get an overview of the conference in this article.


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Podcasts and the world of business
So you’ve got your Facebook page and you regularly tweet and your Instagram looks like a glossy magazine but what else? Digital content continues to lead the way when it comes to communicating about you, your business and your product. Podcasts have been around for a while and although they saw a slow start the growth in their popularity is now becoming plain to see – The podcast audience is 57 million Americans in total and the audience for podcasts has grown 75% since 2013 (Edison Research). As Maya Angelou said ‘Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with meaning’ and while companies can advertise on the radio few have the time or money to start a radio station. Podcasts however are a great way to engage clients, get your message out there and, if people think you have something to say, create a new loyal customer base.

The growth of the podcast
From humble beginnings podcasts, especially in America, are now in the main stream. Eric Diehn, CEO of Midroll Media (owner of the top podcast app ‘Stitcher’) has seen how podcasts are becoming the next digital boom. From niche beginnings five years ago podcasting is now attracting the attention of large media brands such as The Guardian newspaper in the UK. The Guardian has today a wide portfolio of award winning podcasts and see the potential for growth in the future. While people like, Nick Quah, Editor of Hotpod newsletter is now charting trends in podcasts, who to watch and how to get into the game his is essential reading for any business wanting to get into the podcast space today.

Monetizing your podcast
Podcasts aren’t all about promoting your business, podcasts can also be a source of revenue in their own right. Due to the growing number of listeners podcasts and the measurability of podcasts advertisers are starting to see the potential of podcasts. The larger successful podcasts are becoming businesses in their own right, whether they were started in a garage or not podcasts such as WTF in America now have 800 episodes online and huge followings. Companies such as Audioboom have also been created to make the podcast business easier for those just starting out, hosting, distributing and monitising content.

The growth of your brand
Knowing the podcast audience goes a long way to deciding where to start with a podcast, the BBC have just started non-linear podcasts and their insights into their audiences have played a key role in this development. Elizabeth Lane and Pete Zezulka are two leading podcast measurement experts who specialise in this area and understand how knowing your audience can also be about know who to target next. Similarly in the commercial world of podcasting growing a current radio brand or extending a business brand is something Prisa Radio, Spain (Pablo Fernández Delkader, Manager, Innovation and Product Development) and Radio France (Laurent Frisch (Head of Digital/CDO) have both had experience with. On demand content is an area which current radio brands are now having to develop both from an editorial, business and technical perspective if they want their brand to grow in terms of current and new audiences.

Awards, accolades and hard-hitting journalism
While podcasts are seen as good for businesses their rise in popularity in many countries has been down to one or two podcasts which deal with serious newsworthy issues – both fact and fiction. The reach and freedom of podcasts as a currently non traditional medium (and similar to radio lean back although on demand access) has meant that building a story ready for today’s ‘binge consuming’ audience is possible. Helen Zaltzman, Answer me this! And The Allusionist/Radiotopia, UK, Paula Szuchman, VP, on-Demand Content, WNYC Labs, USA, Caroline Bratt Pouron, Content Strategist, SR P3, Leslie Merklinger Senior Director of Audio Innovation, CBC, Canada, and Claire Tonti Creative Director, Planet Broadcasting, Australia are all leading the way in terms of content creation of hard hitting, award winning and record breaking podcast content – and importantly show the gender equality that podcasting seems to attracts!

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