US-based research firm Edison recently published its annual Podcast Consumer report, revealing that podcast listening continues to grow at an incredible rate: 17% of the US population has listened to a podcast in the last month, up from 12% in 2010.
Podcast listeners are an affluent demographic: 36% of them earn $75k or more. And most importantly, podcast consumers are more likely to follow brands on social media, with 58% responding positively compared to 41% of the US population generally.
This growth is set to continue as podcasting gets its own Netflix, with the launch this week of a $4.99 per month podcasting service called Howl. Howl was built by Midroll Media, a podcasting and advertising company, which will no doubt put ad-driven monetisation at the heart of the Howl business model. Edison values the podcast advertising market at $100m, but it remains under-explored by most brands.
With such an engaged audience – Edison estimates that podcast listening has now overtaken AM/FM radio listening in the US – brands should not ignore this opportunity. As Ryan Stansky, marketing manager of web content management platform Squarespace, told US content marketing firm Contently: "Podcasts are personal. We have the opportunity to get hosts genuinely excited about our products and values. When they relay an authentic message to a large audience who trusts them, it benefits everyone involved, because the show is supported, we get new business, and the customer learns about a product that is useful in their personal and/or professional life."