Designing your podcast to be a success #RDE22

Tom Webster from Edison Research presented some interesting figures to the large audience in attendance today at Radiodays Europe.

According to the Share of Ear figures this year, podcasts now have 5% of all audio listening in the USA, up from 1% in 2014.

During the height of the 2020 lockdown in the US, podcasting was at 6%, but as people have headed back to work this has eased.

Podcasting used to be 4% of all spoken work audio consumption, but now sits at 20%.

Today 13-24’s who listen to spoken word audio, are spending 35% of the time listening to podcasting, and only 16% with AM/FM radio.

In a list just released in the past week the US top genres by reach are:

  1. Comedy
  2. News
  3. Society & Culture
  4. True Crime
  5. Sports
  6. TV & Film
  7. Business
  8. Arts
  9. Religions & Spirituality
  10. Education
  11. Health & Fitness
  12. History
  13. Science
  14. Music
  15. Leisure

Webster told the audience that the top four of these, Comedy, News, Society & Culture and True Crime are separated from the rest of the pack by quite a distance

Comedy at around 40%, News just under 30%, Society and Culture around 25% and Crime next before the rest drop away.

Of the top 20 podcasts in the USA all except for 2 come from these genres.

On designing a successful podcast he says it is important to know where a podcasts fit into the listeners life.

Webster says that habit is particularly important, and creating habit for the prospective listener draws them in.

This habit should include new episodes either daily or weekly, but consistently, and that the podcasts should be reliable, topical and always updated, as these are the shows with which people build a habit.

On building a successful podcast in 2022, Webster says, “The first thing, and the most important thing for me is habit. It is incredibly important to be able to build a habit, which is certainly something that a News podcast can do.

 “To me it’s important to think about a a brand and a feed. An RSS feed that delivers predictable, reliable and consistent week after week if not day after day, is a thing to build a brand upon.”

He says it is difficult to launch a short run series as the risk reward ratio is much steeper than doing something that runs daily or weekly.

However, he says that it is possible to build a brand around a series of sequentially short run podcasts on the same topic or a similar theme that can again build habit.

Familiarity is the next important value for a successful podcast, and this can be “…something that people are familiar with on the outset, whether that is a human, or a format or whether that is a concept, that’s all very important.

“Other than that, the third way to succeed in 2022 is just straight up murder, true crime.”

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