The Podcast Trend
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Brands have started jumping on the podcast train!
The popularity of podcasts has been on the rise in recent years, and companies have noticed. To get in on the action, brands have gone from simply obtaining ad space in podcast realms to now sponsoring the creation of branded content on these very same pages.
In 2016, new media company Wondery commissioned a study on podcasts that included over 2,000 US residents between the ages of 18 and 49. They found that 1 in 5 people in this group listened to podcasts once a month or more, and popularity is expected to continue soaring. However, budgets for podcasts are expensive, and the podcast market is becoming more competitive as audiences have more options.
To appeal to an ever widening and content conscious audience, large companies have started sponsoring the production of creative podcasts. The company pays for the production, creative people make a podcast the audience will enjoy, and the brand gets their name out into the world of podcasts.
In 2015, General Electric commissioned “The Message,” an eight-episode science fiction podcast. This creative piece of branded content became the No. 1 podcast on iTunes sometime after its release. About 450,000 people listened in on each episode during the eight weeks it aired. It received double the number of listens after the series ended, as well. Its success led GE’s Podcast Theater group to create another podcast titled “LifeAfter,” a ten-episode thriller, which aired last year.
Other big brands have been doing the same. In 2016, Tequila Avión sponsored a podcast titled “Rich Friend: The Elevated Conversation” featuring Mark Anthony Green and Matthew Trammell. They plan for fifty episodes that have continued into 2017. InterContinental Hotels, HBO, and State Farm are a few more companies creating their own podcasts. In 2017, I think we can expect to hear many more popular podcasts produced by large brand names, opening up yet more venues through which creatives can showcase their work.