Why Are Podcasts So Popular? 4 Reasons Why People Love Them
The global podcasting market size is estimated to reach USD 94.88 billion by 2028 and we can’t get enough of our favorite shows. Why? Let me explain the 4 main reasons why podcasting is so popular.
By Niall Mackay
Podcasts are extremely popular. No doubt, almost everyone knows what a podcast is. – You know it, and so do I.
But did you know that over 2 million podcasts are available with 48 million active episodes? – These numbers are crazy! And they are just growing every year.
It’s not surprising that a growing number of businesses, influencers, content creators, and NGOs are jumping in and starting their own podcasts nowadays. – All for the sake of raising awareness of their brand and connecting with their audience.
Wonder why podcasts are so popular?
Here, I dive into how podcasts become so popular and give you 4 reasons why people can’t get enough of them!
How Did Podcasts Become Popular?
Podcasting isn’t a new medium. Like its ancestor, radio, podcasting lets people listen to audio news and stories. The only difference is that they can download it directly on their smartphones and listen to it whenever they want for free.
Podcasts started with Apple iTunes when Steve Jobs announced in 2004 that you can download your favorite podcast right on your iPod. However, that was… pretty long time ago!
When and why did podcasts become SO popular?
Just because a podcast could be downloaded to a smart device, it didn’t bring millions of downloads instantly. Podcasters had to come up with another new idea to change the deal.
How about adding a tidbit of drama and a fictional story?
In 2014 Serial – just 10 years after the official launch of podcasts – changed the conventional rules of podcasting. It released new episodes week by week as a mystery crime show, building up one story for its listeners. This new format was the fastest podcast that reached 5 million downloads and streams on iTunes!
Popularity and Advertising
Once a media channel becomes popular, marketers cannot help but jump in. We saw this with social media advertising. The same applies here to podcasting.
Alongside these high-production podcasts, companies saw a new medium to sponsor podcasters using unique codes to track which ad platform brings higher revenue to them.
Of course, there are tons of independent podcasts out there, such as A Vietnam Podcast that aren’t sponsored by corporations.
4 Reasons Why Podcasts Are Popular For People
You may be thinking: “Wow, if companies pump so much money into podcast sponsorships, people should be listening to these podcasts…A LOT!”
So, here are the key reasons why people, the consumers, cannot get enough of listening to podcasts.
People Can Listen To Everything
Unlike the radio, podcasts vary in any niche and can be downloaded anytime. With over 1 million podcast channels worldwide, people can listen to audio shows in any native language on almost any topic they like.
Plus, all these unique shows remain free, which is a very easily accessible entertainment or educational source for literally anyone with a smart device. According to Oberlo, three out of four podcast listeners tune in to learn new things!
What makes Saturday chores a lot more fun? A podcast episode from your favorite host! Whether on a long road trip, studying, or working, listening to podcast episodes helps tedious tasks turn into a great experience.
Trust me, I’m listening to one as I write this post.
Podcasts Are Very Accessible
About 6.37 billion people owned a smartphone last year, so it is a no-brainer that podcasts are so accessible. Users can directly download their favourite podcast shows on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or other podcast hosting apps and effortlessly switch from one podcast to the other.
Just like your YouTube feed or social media following, podcast listeners aren’t committed to only one show! Again, based on Oberlo’s statistic summary, the average U.S. consumer subscribes to six to seven podcast shows on average. So, not only it is accessible but also very easy to pick and choose personal preferences.
Influencers and content creators live and die for their audience. And what else is a great way to create a closer connection to your people than to speak to them?
Podcasting allows creators to show themselves on a new medium and build their communities by hosting long “intimate” conversations. By intimate, I refer to authentic stories and sharing that otherwise crammed into a 10-minute optimized YouTube video.
Listening to a podcast is like hanging out with like-minded people in the niche or topic you are passionate about.
Podcasting builds a close relationship between hosts and listeners, which inevitably grows podcast communities, increases downloads, and exposes them to more sponsorships.
Does Podcasting Continue To Be Popular?
With the growing podcast ad revenues, personalization, accessibility, podcasting continues to be popular in the future. It is estimated that the number of podcast listeners will excel by 160 million next year, and more small businesses will also jump in to expand their marketing channels on podcasts.
Are you interested in starting your own podcast? Download my free e-book and never miss the latest updates on podcasting for businesses!