Content overload? Don’t know which way your head is spinning sometimes? What to read? What to watch? What to listen to? Let’s face it… there’s too much going on.

But there is one thing most of us can agree on. Podcasts, thanks to shows like Serial and S-Town, are the hottest topic out there. So what do we know about podcasts from our keen study of the States, the land of podcast greatness?

Two things:

“Early data suggests that most podcasts are listened to for at least 90% of their duration.” That means a good podcast can create an “audience that are all ears”. Where else do you get that?

Answer: No where.

Secondly, this is a financial bandwagon you want to get on. In 2017, according to the IAB/PWC Podcast Advertising Revenue study, US podcast advertising generated $314m, up 86% from 2016. It is predicted to create $659m in 2020.

What else?

Arts & Entertainment, Technology, News, Current Events and Business are proving the most popular type of content, attracting 56% of the advertising revenue. An advert read by the presenter of the show has a greater engagement rate with listeners than an independently read traditional style advert. And according to a comScore study people find podcast adverts less intrusive than other forms of digital adverts.

The 18 – 24 year olds, followed hot on their heels by the 25 – 34 year olds are leading the way with their love of podcasts. Despite the unfounded claim that millennials have low attention spans, “early data suggest that most podcasts are listened to for at least 90% of their duration.”

So what about Europe?

Well Ireland is the trail blazer with 38% (of the sample interview by Reuters) saying they listened to a podcast in the last month. Sweden comes in a close second with the Netherlands bottoming out the list. There is an argument that the term podcast is still confusing for some. Perhaps. But a greater obstacle to mainland Europes slower up take of podcasts could be due to the fact that 70% of Europeans are Android owners. And up until last week, Android phones didn’t have a proprietary podcast app like Apple Podcasts. Google have finally changed this. Finally! And it appears to be quite smart, thinking ahead to the growing interest in Smart Speakers (over 70% of people with a smart speaker are listening to more audio) and the fact that accessibility is one of the key elements for a podcast’s success. People want simplicity. Want to continue listening to your show once you get home but not on your phone? Of course not. With Google’s podcast app you’ll be able to do just that. Simple syncing. Hey Google. The next generation will be so hands free they’ll sneer at our clunky touch buttons and screens. (Btw you can already do this with Amazon Alexa and your iPhone but lets give Google their moment).

The important take away is the audience that is engaging with podcasts. They’re young, they’re savvy, they’re looking for belief driven content. They want to be inspired and so are switching to podcasts where they can choose their mood, their tempo and their content. And they’re doing it at a time when it suits them. As content producers this is very exciting. Do you strive every day for a chance to create emotional, real, honest and fun content?

Yes please!!!

Have a read of this Irish Independent article on the future of podcasts. We’ll be back with a more in depth piece on the pros (and very few cons) of podcasts for brands and advertisers.

Photo by Yingchou Han on Unsplash

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