How to Know Your Audience – The Power of Podcasts

How to Know Your Audience – The Power of Podcasts

Remember the iPod? You know, it was that clunky music player Apple put out in the early 2000’s with the circle in the middle and the tiny screen? That little device revolutionized the world in many ways and even though the device isn’t even manufactured anymore, it is still passing on its legacy in subtle ways. Podcasting, which is essentially a radio show over the internet, got its name from that little clunky music player (smash together iPod and broadcast and you get podcast) and while the classic iPod is no longer around, podcasting has only grown in popularity.

ipod generations

Even though podcasts have existed for well over 10 years, it is still considered a niche medium. It’s really only gotten popular in the last two or three years and because of that, no one has given any serious thought to the wealth of information you can glean from your audience with the proper tools. YouTube provides its users with awesome stats on viewers, so why don’t podcasters have that same insight into their audience?

True to its legacy, today’s podcasting world is largely based around Apple products, and based on 2015 market data, at least 70% of all podcasts were downloaded through iTunes. In addition to this, Apple has surpassed the 1 billion subscriptions mark for podcasts via iTunes. For podcast hosts, this means they’re primarily stuck with the analytics available from iTunes, which is very little.

Edison Research for average usage of device compared between U.S. average person and average podcaster

A comparison between average U.S. consumer and Podcast listener in terms of device usage

Edison Research has released a study called “Share Of Ear”, which analyzed the listening habits of Americans, particularly those of podcast listeners. The report found that Americans listen to approximately 21 million hours of podcast audio each and every day.  The report also found that if you’re a consumer who listens to podcasts, you listen to a lot of podcasts! 30% of audio time during the day was devoted to podcast episodes, as opposed to 23% for owned music and 21% for AM/FM radio. Consider this: if the U.S. population is about 300 million, if we took the number of hours of podcasting time and divided it by the number of hours Americans listen to podcasts, then every American on average listens to at least 5 minutes of podcast every day (only in the year of 2014!). So the question is,  how does this compare to other more mature mediums?

  • Online – 160 minutes
  • Television – 280 minutes
  • Radio – 87 minutes
  • Newspapers – 28 minutes
  • Magazines – 29 minutes

(Source)

Even though the numbers still strongly lean in favor of traditional mediums, there are several things that have to be taken into consideration in favor of podcasting.

  • Podcasting is a rapidly growing medium. From 2009 to 2014, monthly listeners in the U.S. alone have tripled from 25 million to 75 million, while other mediums are in a slow decline.
  • Most of podcasts are powered by individuals, not huge companies that can invest in massive marketing campaigns.
  • Listeners are in the driver’s seat now and are making conscious choices about their entertainment preferences.
  • According to DigiDay, there are no reliable metrics that provide real value to podcast hosts. Current offerings are slim and don’t take into account all the possible sites that are used for downloading and streaming podcasts.
  • Podcasting is a fragmented genre and there is no one show that rules all listeners.

There’s no doubt that podcasting has power to grow your audience in ways that other mediums cannot. You can literally talk to your audience and begin to develop relationships that are impossible over email or blog. These relationships are important as you build your business and want to start monetizing your content. Podcasting can help you do all of that and more. Remember, podcasting as a medium has not yet matured which means that there is still a tremendous amount of growth left, and it’s going to happen with or without you. So why not ride that podcasting wave?

Riding fast

Podcasting is poised for explosive growth and there is the potential for so much more engagement with your audience with proper analytics. Google has built an empire off of AdWords and the value of effective analytics. Where’s the equivalent for podcasting? Just think about how valuable it could be to see how many downloads were actually listened to! Then, those follow up emails on your podcasting episodes could be much more effectively targeted for the listeners who actually, well, listened! There is an ocean of knowledge about your audience just waiting to be discovered, and with the right analytics, you can start exploring.

That is the mission of CastSource – to provide hosts with a comprehensive podcasting analytics platform that will enable you to engage and target your audience like you never could before.

Curious what that looks like? Just subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll be first to see behind the scenes.

About Evaldas Miliauskas

Evaldas Miliauskas is the founder of CastSource - a startup that provides transcriptions designed for podcasts. He is a passionate podcaster listener, host, and a entrepreneur.

Entries by Evaldas Miliauskas