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Podcast Blog Feb 2020

The news media landscape has always been dynamic and at times unpredictable. As noted in my recent RAJAR blog, we live in an age of media diversity and reach that would have been unthinkable thirty years ago.

At markettiers, we have always made sure that we are at the forefront of developing trends and technologies, embracing change and innovation, which is why we’ve become the first UK agency to develop a podcast outreach service. It seemed like a no brainer given our heritage in broadcast media relations.

Podcast consumption is on the rise, with weekly downloads nearly doubling over the last six years. Our research shows that more than 7 million British adults regularly listen to their favourite podcasts and it’s easy to see why this simple but effective form is so appealing.

Podcasts occupy a unique space in the media landscape. Distinct from the saturated worlds of online streaming and social media, they reach consumers in places these other forms can’t: in the car, on the commute, at the gym. Whatever your tastes and interests are, there’s a podcast out there for you, from news and sport to comedy and true crime.

This has bred a new, very specific kind of consumer use, with an engaged and active listenership cultivating listening habits to match their interests.

The industry is now meeting the demand created by this behaviour change with a range of different types of high‐quality news programming. With this increased listenership has come a growing range of news podcasts, with different types of programme offering brands opportunities to provide data, spokespeople and content to a clearly profiled audience base.

Currently, the most common type of news podcast is the Micro‐Bulletin, a 1‐5 minute presenter‐led rundown of the day’s top stories, e.g. The Briefing from The Telegraph.

News Round‐Ups, such as the Sky News Daily Podcast, stretch to around 20 minutes and might feature soundbites and contributors, while longer Deep Dive programmes like Radio 4’s Beyond Today focus on key issues in much greater detail.

And we are now seeing deep consumer engagement with podcasts, meaning opportunities are rife for carefully selected and relevant guest and story placement for brands.

Research by 4DC shows that 61% of listeners are positive about hearing ads, while a massive 80% are enthusiastic about branded content.

54% per cent have jotted down a brand name mentioned in a podcast and a quarter of listeners have made a purchase as a direct result of advertising or sponsorship.

This is why we have already started working with multiple clients to successfully place brands in spaces informed by clear and accurate user profiling.

As well as keeping up with the news cycle, media outlets have also needed to keep up with changing consumer behaviours and so with rumours suggesting Spotify will soon be launching its own news platform, it's possible we're witnessing a revolutionary moment in news programming formats.