5 March 2024

What’s trending? Podcasts, that’s what.

Exercise your brain at the podcast gym, learn new stuff, make the most of your home time

Having emerged in the early 2000s, podcasting usually refers to on-demand audio content accessed online. Back then it was a niche format for hobbyists and tech nerds; audiences were small and finding good content was hard work.

Today, with the proliferation of social media, smartphones and Bluetooth-enabled in-car devices, consuming podcasts has never been easier. Now there are hundreds of hours of podcast programming on every conceivable subject and in every genre, realising their true calling, which is to inform, entertain and inspire. For example, learning a foreign language is very popular. Amazingly podcasting hasn’t hit content shock. It’s still incredibly fast growing.

Consider the following popularity numbers:

  • Nearly ⅔ of respondents said they listen to more podcasts than a year ago.
  • 22% of people listen to a podcast while driving.
  • There are over 5 million serialised podcasts globally with over 70 million episodes.
  • In 2024 it’s predicted there will be over 100 million podcast listeners in the US.

Consider the following take-up numbers:

  • Average Americans listen to 8 podcasts every week.
  • Nearly ¼ of all podcast listeners started in the past 6 months.
  • Podcast listeners are valuable – especially if you’re after millennials.
  • 50% under 35 have listened to a podcast in the last month.

How you can ride the wave

For a start, think about the number of subject matter experts in your company. Some may even be famous. Multiply that by the influential people they could invite to share their expertise. Add to that the guests those people might bring with them. So, if you’re looking to boost thought leadership and reach new audiences, the perfect time is now to add podcasting to your content marketing mix. So, you’ve got your players and you’re half-way to an audience.

But what are you going to talk about? Well, consider trending topics. Don’t think of climate change. It’s a bit passé and suffers from Aesop’s famous saying, ‘After all is said and done, more is said than done.’ But there are many others. Among similar subjects in prime positions are sustainability, net zero, and ESG (environmental, social, and governance). In particular, ESG has adopted a business-like garb. In many industries if you can’t prove your ESG credentials you don’t even make it to the tender list.

Having chosen your topic, manoeuvre yourself into a position from which to build your podcasting base. If you don’t know them already, look on the website for someone with that topic against their name. Make an appointment to see them. Identify others in similar roles. Talk to them. Ensure they can speak fluidly on the subject. Build yourself a bandwagon.

More UK and global podcast stats

In 2020, there were approximately 16.9 million podcast listeners in the UK. By 2024, this number is projected to scale to close to 25 million listeners.

The United States leads the globe in podcast listenership, with 117.8 million people listening to podcasts monthly (40% of all internet users).

Sweden ranks second in terms of podcast penetration, with 34.6% of internet users planning to listen to podcasts in 2024.

In 2020, podcast advertising expenditure in the UK stood at £37 million out of roughly £104 million spent on digital audio advertising in general.

By 2025, podcast ad spend is projected to increase to £64 million

The number of adult podcast listeners has been steadily growing, reaching 10.5 million in summer 2022.

Press the play button to listen to a sample podcast, then let us help.

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