Pump up the Volume…

I first got introduced to the world of podcast while commuting from Santa Monica to Orange County, a drive that takes approximately 2 hours during rush hour on a good day.  To kill time and keep my brain from falling asleep, I began tuning into podcasts.  Most will immediately think of Ted Talks or the Nerdist (Dockterman, 2017).  However, brands are starting to realize that podcast may be the new outlet to reach consumers and break through the other thousands of messages consumers receive every day (Medal, 2017).

According to Medal (2017), internet audiences have less patience when consuming media that is not interactive, engaging, and immersive.  This has caused for an increase in podcast consumption and subscribers (Medal, 2017).  Researchers have found that approximately 67 million people have tuned into a podcast within the last month. Medal (2017) argues that this increase in saturation within the market will cause for brands to organizations to ensure that they are not sending out mindless podcasts and strategically utilize this new platform.  Some of the brand leaders entering the podcast market are eBay with their “Open for Business” podcast and GE’s “The Message” podcast (Medal, 2017).  However, the success for both these brands has been the hiring of expert bloggers and pod-casters to run their podcast to ensure the content that consumers can relate to and rich for consumers (Willins, 2017).

Experts expect the branded sponsored podcast market will more than double in 2017 and consumers can expect to see more podcast brought to you by their favorite brands and sponsors (Willins, 2017).  However, because of the demand and excitement surrounding the new market, experts estimate podcast sponsorship ranges within the mid-six figures range (Willins, 2017).  Brands and organizations need to determine if the cost is worth the exposure and will it increase brand awareness and equity?  Some brands will find sponsorship more fitting than others.  For example, some brands may find it harder to create content consumers can relate to and that is less invasive than traditional sponsorship and advertising on these podcast shows.  The art and skill is creating shows that relate to the brand and products without being overly invasive and obvious to the consumer.

While this may be a new area for consumers to explore and brands to find new ways of communicating with their target audience, I believe this area still has a long way to go before it sees profits and revenue that is remotely close to traditional forms of advertising and even social media.  However, this is a great opportunity for brands to communicate with potential buyers that are less familiar with the brand and younger consumers that have not experienced the brand or products.  Another concern is the culture pod-casters and their listeners embrace in this market.  Authenticity and pushing the boundaries tend to be characteristics of podcasts, and listeners may find it hard to tune into a show that is sponsored by Colgate or Home Depot.

Understanding the audience and created content that consumers can relate to, will determine if a brand can successfully tap into their consumers podcast world and interact and extend communication with its consumers.


Dockterman, E. (2017, March 30). Best Podcasts 2017: Serial, S-Town, True Crime And More. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from http://time.com/4709592/best-podcasts-2017/

Medal, A. (2017, July 28). The Rise (and Rise) of Branded Podcasts. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297617

Willens, M. (2017, January 27). Why branded podcasting could more than double in 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017, from https://digiday.com/media/branded-podcasting-double-2017/

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One Response to Pump up the Volume…

  1. lbmurphy says:

    Hi Stephanie
    Thanks for your post! While my commute isn’t nearly as long as yours, I’ve been considering listening to something besides the news during my drive. I’ve been an avid NPR supporter for years and they often do segments on podcasts, but I’ve yet to tune in. I believe you’ve inspired me to give it a try! Do you have any favorites you’d recommend? Thanks again!