1. More people than EVER before are listening to podcasts. Back in 2012, podcast listening hit an all time high, with 14% of Americans listening to at least one podcast per month. Then in 2013, listening slumped. Had podcasts had their day? No! They’re back, with listening figures for 2014 at an all time high. Figures from Statista show that 15% of Americans listen to at least one podcast a month.
2. Podcasts are entering popular consciousness. Close to one in three (29%) Americans have listened to at least one podcast, while one in four have viewed a video podcast. In other words, podcasts are no longer only for a niche audience. They’re now a mainstream way to consume content.
3. Digital natives love podcasts. People who listen to podcasts are significantly more likely to watch TV through “non-traditional means”, for example on their tablet, phone or computer. That makes podcasts ideal for reaching the digital generation.
4. Podcasts are a largely untapped market. A 2013 study by Social Media Examiner found that only 3% of marketers use podcasts as part of their social marketing strategy. In the same study, 23% of marketers said they planned to increase their podcasting activity over the next year. Strike now, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
5. Podcasts are addictive. So far, we’ve established that 29% of Americans have listened to at least one podcast. And 15% of Americans are regular podcast listeners. Crunch these numbers, and it becomes clear that over half of people who listen to a single podcast become regular podcast listeners. Podcast listening is an easy habit to start, and a tough habit to break.
6. Podcasts fill “dead time”. No matter how much you love consuming content, there are times when you can’t watch a video or read a blog post. This could be when you’re exercising, driving, or fixing breakfast. Podcasts provide content to fill this “dead” time. As such, if you’re a content creator, recording podcasts will help you get to places that no other content can reach.
7. If you can talk, you can podcast. Podcasts are dead simple to create. You don’t have to write anything. You don’t have to know how to cut and edit video. All you have to do is talk. Not sure you’re up for talking? You can always interview someone else. Podcasts really are the easiest type of content to produce.
8. You’ve got all the tech you need in your pocket. If you’re reading this, you almost certainly own everything you need to record and publish a podcast. And if you own a smartphone, all that technology fits inside your pocket. That’s not to say you can’t upgrade later to a studio quality microphone. But it is to say that you shouldn’t use technology as an excuse.
9. Podcasts help you get up close and personal with your audience. Podcasts are like radio. Listeners feel like they personally know the presenters of their favorite shows. As content specialist Chris Brogan explains:
I believe that the audio medium is still really powerful. I think it’s because of how intimate it can feel. I believe there’s really something to be said for this and that you might find some great success in considering an audio show.
Why are podcasts so intimate? Because they make the most of the human voice. As the podcasting experts over at How to Podcast explain:
The human voice connects with people in a way that the written word cannot. When you listen to a podcast, you can feel the speaker’s emotion. You get a better sense for his personality. You feel like you get to know him.
10. You can podcast even if you’ve got a “face for radio”. Getting in front of a camera takes a lot of courage, and it’s not for everyone. Podcasts allow you to get on with what you do best – sharing great content – instead of worrying about how you look.
11. Smartphones put podcasts in everyone’s pocket. Some 58% of American adults own a smartphone, and 42% of American adults own an e-reader. With a podcast, you put content directly into people’s pockets and purses.
12. Podcasts will grow your overall audience. We’ve already looked at how podcasts help your listeners feel like they know you personally. Once they feel this way, they’ll quickly want more from you. They’ll sign up for your email list, follow you on Twitter and like your Facebook page.
13. Podcasts help aural learners get the most from your content. Different people learn in different ways. Some of us are visual learners – we learn best by seeing things. Others are kinesthetic learners, who learn by doing. And some of us are aural learners. We learn best when we hear. By creating a podcast, you help aural learners get the most out of your content.
14, Podcasts are an amazing networking tool. Want to connect with the greatest thought leaders and biggest influencers in your niche? Start a podcast! It’s the perfect excuse for getting in touch. All you’ve got to say is “can I interview you on my podcast?” Be persistant – it make take months or years to convince a top player to join you.
15. The best podcasters are podcasting more – because they get so much out of it. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income recently increased the amount of podcasts he publishes. He explains why:
Podcasting has become such an important and integral part of my overall branding strategy, so much so that earlier this year I decided to switch from publishing 2 podcasts per month, to 1 per week, a decision that has already proved to be well worth the extra effort. More and more people are discovering my brand through my podcast, and it continues to be the number one way that people discover me, more than SEO, Social Media, YouTube and links from other sites.