The growth of the podcast industry

The popularity of podcasts continues to grow as more people consume audio content in their free time. Now is a great time for your business to get involved in the podcast industry.

Audio Content Marketing
 — 
5
 Min read
 — 
August 30, 2021

Audio content creation is becoming a larger part of many brands’ marketing schemes, as audio branding has a remarkable ability to grow brand awareness for a business. Podcast audiences have the highest engagement of any branded media format. This increases the potential for members of your podcast audience to turn into customers. Not only do podcasts have impressive engagement rates, but the podcast industry is projected to grow into a billion dollar industry this year, and shows no signs of slowing down.


Covered in this article

  • Overview of the industry
  • Industry predictions
  • Why now is the perfect time to start your branded podcast

Overview of the industry

Podcasting was first created in 2004, by internet personality Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer. Podcast popularity grew slowly in its early years, picking up speed when celebrities began creating their own podcasts. 


George W. Bush was the first U.S. president to embrace podcasting, and began publishing his weekly addresses as podcast episodes. Ricky Gervais became one of the first celebrities to have a successful podcast, as he broke the Guinness World Record for most monthly episode downloads in 2007. The podcast industry growth rate started to increase around the mid 2010s, as a significant amount of podcasts were published and many more people became familiar with the media form.


Spotify became a major player in the industry in 2019, when they bought two of the largest podcast platforms: Anchor and Gimlet Media. Simplified podcasting software and easily navigable host sites made podcasting more accessible to people and businesses. Creating a podcast is now more convenient than ever, so the rate of podcast consumption keeps growing with the rate of podcast creation.


Podcast consumption has nearly doubled from five years ago. In 2016, only 21% of the population were podcast listeners. According to the Infinite Dial 2021 survey by Edison Research, 41% of the U.S. population aged 12 and over listen to podcasts monthly. The amount of weekly listeners also grew, and an estimated 80 million people in the U.S. tune into their favorite podcasts weekly. This group averages about five different shows per week.


Podcasting has a much younger audience than other media forms. Most podcast listeners are between 12 to 34 years old. This allows companies to target younger audiences for brand awareness and product placement. In 2016, an estimated 28 million people in the U.S. aged 12 to 34 listened to podcasts monthly. Today, the same group is an estimated 58 million people. A 2020 Statista study found that over 15 million UK citizens were monthly podcast listeners. 


Audio companies noticed the potential of the podcast industry growth rate, and started investing more money and energy into podcasting. In 2019, Spotify had a budget of $500 million for podcast company acquisitions.

Industry predictions

The podcasting industry is estimated to become a $1 billion industry by the end of this year. As more podcasts start to fill untapped niches in the industry, more brands become interested in using this space to reach more specific audiences. 


Another Statista study shows that the amount of monthly American podcast listeners is expected to grow from the calculated 75 million listeners in 2020 to about 100 million listeners by 2024. 


Although the U.S. dominates most of the podcasting industry in podcast consumption, consumption rates in other areas of the world are also quickly increasing. UK monthly podcast listeners are expected to grow to over 19 million people by 2024


A Grand View Research study valued the global podcast market size at $9.28 billion in 2019. They calculated a potential compound annual growth rate of 27.5% for the industry from 2020 to 2027. This means that the podcasting industry is likely to reach $60.5 billion in 2027.


Why now is the perfect time to start your branded podcast

The statistics for podcast growth are very promising, which creates the potential for brands to find success in the industry. In Edison Research, Podcast One, and Ad Results Media’s 2020 “Super Listeners” survey, the research companies determined that 54% of super listeners believe that podcast advertisements make them much more likely to buy a product than any other advertising media. Nearly half of these super listeners, those who listen to five or more podcasts per week, also believe that their opinion of a company is much more positive when they hear the host mention it in one of their favorite podcasts. Podcasts provide a more intimate connection to an audience compared to other forms of media, so brands have a great chance of building a genuine connection to current and potential customers. 


Most branded podcasts use the interview format, in which a host interviews experts or relevant voices in the brand’s industry. A 2020 Grand View Research Study found that 30% of global podcast revenue in 2019 came from the interview format. They also expect this statistic to see significant growth within the next six years.


Podcasts have high content and advertising engagement. A BBC report on the effectiveness of branded podcasts found that the activeness of avid podcast listeners creates an environment for absorbing information easily. This study found that 94% of podcast listeners play podcasts while completing another task. These tasks include activities that can be completed subconsciously, such as doing chores at home, commuting to work, and exercising. The study concludes that “listening to a branded podcast whilst engaged in an activity increases engagement, emotional intensity and long term memory of the podcast.” This allows branded podcasts to outperform other media types in engagement. For example, the BBC report found that 78% of branded podcast listeners remembered a show’s branded content, compared to 53% of radio listeners.


Branded podcasts are the perfect opportunity to produce meaningful content that will spark interest with a specific audience for your product.

Summary

Branded podcasts are the perfect way to advertise your business to a specific audience. Listener engagement is much higher for podcasts than other platforms, making branded podcasts a great opportunity to create successful marketing campaigns. The predictions for the podcast industry also show that podcast consumption will drastically increase over the next few years. This lowers the risk in podcast failure, as more people entering the podcast world increases the chance of your podcast gaining a loyal audience. Branded podcasts typically use the interview format, which is the most popular podcast style and remains an easy formula to create successful audio shows. 


Interested in creating a branded podcast to grow your business? Get started with our asynchronous interview process that allows you to create meaningful episodes without the hassle of editing or recording in real time.

 

Start your free Rumble Studio account today. https://rumble.studio


Enjoy this article? Let's keep in touch!