In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- How language surrounding podcasts influences potential listeners
- Podcast listenership has jumped 20% in the past 5 years
- Why the problem of making podcasts more discoverable is not a technical one
Podcasting And Language
Tom tells stories with numbers. He says it’s marketers’ responsibility to be good at marrying narratives to numbers — that’s how data becomes impactful.
He admits that he has never liked the word “podcast.” The word comes with too many limitations and can inhibit new listeners from entering the space.
For example, Tom says “podcast” makes people think of touched-up radio that is no different from their favorite on-air show. But that’s overly simplistic.
He’s found in his research that some people don’t listen to podcasts because they think there’s nothing a new podcast could offer them. Others believe that they can’t easily access podcasts, even if they wanted to listen to them.
The word “subscribe” also misleads potential audiences. Tom explains that to someone who isn’t used to podcasts or the language surrounding them, “subscribe” evokes associations of paying for something — like paying for a magazine or streaming subscription.
The takeaway: Podcasters should strive to improve technical language surrounding their work. They need to communicate better that their content is not limited to one format of listening.
Joe Rogan’s podcast is a good example of this. Part of the reason it is the most popular podcast in the U.S. is due to its audience on YouTube, a platform not often associated with podcasts.
Changes In Listenership
Tom’s job is to research how podcast listenership is changing.
“There has actually been a measurable behavior change in the American public in terms of media consumption that we have quantified over the last five or six years.”
Podcast listenership has grown by 20% at the expense of music listenership. People want spoken-word media.
Tom thinks increased venture capital and widely popular distribution tools like Spotify greatly contribute to these changes. Even search engines like Google are beginning to produce timestamps from podcast episodes as user search results.
Podcasts are becoming front and center.
Make Content Discoverable
Tom believes there is tons of work to be done to improve podcast discoverability — but it’s not because people don’t know about podcasts.
“There are lots of people trying to solve the . . . discoverability problem from a tech standpoint, but the actual issue is making people care about podcasts.”
If you give listeners content they care about, they will be diligent about learning how to access it. Put quality content first, and the fruits will follow.