The press tour has changed, it’s just a point of reality. The current trend may be something that will stick around for quite some time. The podcast has become the modern equivalent of the press tour, and one with much better ROI, due to host’s connection and influence with the listener.
The podcast is the ultimate in user experience because it can be listened to at the leisure of the user. In addition, they have access to entire catalogs of content due to apps like Stitcher and the iPhone podcasts app coming standard on most devices.
According to podcast host Libsyn, total podcast downloads grew from 1.9 billion to 2.6 billion from 2013 to 2014, which shows just how quickly the medium is growing in size. With so many users clamoring for services like Netflix, it just goes to show that the future will hold even more growth for the podcast industry, especially with many automobiles coming pre-equipped with an app to listen to podcasts. The future of media is leaning towards more choice for the listener and less force being used by the broadcaster.
Fast paced podcast growth continued in 2015, with at least 21 percent of the US population — nearly 57 million individuals — listening to at least 1 podcast show per month. Listeners of podcasts are also highly mobile, with 64% percent listening on a mobile device, which means that individuals looking to market themselves or sell their product have even more access than ever before as the phone has almost become like an extra appendage. Money is just better spent pushing towards a podcast rather than spending five-thousand dollars on a Saturday radio show that no one is listening to. Whereas on a podcast, a study by NPR found that 75 percent of listeners take action on sponsored message, a shockingly high number.
In his article about launching a bestselling book, author Lewis Howes cites appearing on 29 podcasts as one of the top things that he did to promote this book, which became a New York Times Best-Seller. Howes’ own podcast, the School of Greatness, has also been credited with helping Tucker Max to sell thousands of dollars of a product that didn’t even exist until he appeared on the podcast, what Brian Evans called the “Lewis Howes Effect.”
There’s an art form to being a valuable podcast guest, in putting the value given to the listener first and one’s own interests second. However, the skilled guest is able to weave value and self-promotion together in such a way that listeners flock to their website or flood their phones. Most well-skilled podcast hosts will position a guest and advertiser for success in a way that does not at all feel salesy, bring Napoleon Hill’s prediction of the future of radio to fruition — hosts are now expected to sell.
It remains to be seen what the future will hold, but the smart bet is to marketers and promoters putting the energy and money towards podcasts. The statistics just go to show not only where listeners are going but that they are actually creating sales in high volumes. It’s time for marketers to ride the wave of the future.
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