Podcasting and the audio revolution – a few things we learned from the CMA Digital Breakfast

November 16th, 2018

Podcasting is a big topic of conversation among the content marketing community at the moment. We recently produced a report on the subject which you can download here.

We also devoted our latest Digital Breakfast to podcasting in the context of the audio revolution in general. Our three speakers; Steve Ackerman, Managing Director Somethin’ Else, Katharine Kerr, Senior Podcast Producer, Wireless Studios and Karl Newman, Managing Director at Publicis Media, took the audience through the podcasting landscape, highlighting best practice and explaining how brands can use the format to engage with audiences.

Here are a few key stats and trends that we gleaned from their presentations.

The podcast audience is growing – as Katharine explained there has been a big leap in the number of podcast listeners in the UK. Mindshare predicts that as many as ten million adults will tune into a podcast on a weekly basis by 2020.

Podcast ad revenue is through the roof – Steve reported that revenue from podcasting is significantly rising with more companies placing ads and investing in sponsorship. In the US it is expected to break through $1000 million next year.

The average age of a podcast listener is older than you might think – the stereotype of a podcast listener might be a millenial woman, but Katharine reported that the average age is in fact 37. She predicted that this might be dropping as more millennials become passionate about the format.

Sponsorship is the best way to engage audiences – Steve explained that although standard advertising – ie dropping radio style ads into podcasts – is proving successful for both brands and podcasters, the most effective way of engaging an audience through the medium from a brand’s perspective is via sponsored messages read and created by the host. This typically attracts 3 x CPM of traditional radio ads. He played an intriguing ad for Bose from the Adam Buxton podcast to highlight that presenter’s unique approach to the creation and execution of his sponsored messages.

There’s a lot of binge listening of podcasts – Katharine reported that this becoming a trend in the same way that people binge on video content on Netflix etc they now listen to multiple episodes of podcasts in one sitting.

Discoverability is still a big issue – all the presenters spoke about how people discover podcasts. Word of mouth is still the number one way, but marketing campaigns based on social media and paid ads are important.

76 per cent of listeners have responded to an ad or a sponsored notice – Katharine reported this. It is an incredible figure and shows the influence of past and the level of engagement of the audience

What change do you want to create in people’s lives? – Katharine finished her presentation by asking a series of questions about why people produce podcasts. Perhaps the most poignant was ‘what do you want to change in people’s lives?’ If you can come up with a strategy from this you will see engagement levels rocket.

The next CMA event is the £1000 challenge – This is where we will be testing some of our wonderful members to see how they would best utilise the funds to get the most out of their content marketing. It will be held on December 17th at The Yorkshire Grey from 5:30pm onwards, accompanied by mince pies and pigs in blankets! More details to be revealed soon.

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