Podcasts have become a very powerful medium by which to convey information and let people get to know you. They are great ways to make a connection and cultivate a relationship with potential fans and followers. Podcasts are quickly gaining more power with increased popularity. Over 51% of U.S. consumers over 12 years old listen to podcasts regularly and this number has been growing steadily each year. Why not let the power of the podcast be powerful for you?
As of January 2020, there were 850,00 active podcasts as compared to 500,000 in February 2018 (Podcast Insight, 2020). 70% of Americans are familiar with the concept of the podcast and 43% say that they listen to a podcast monthly. Podcasts offer a way to connect on a more intimate level with your fans. Hearing you speak, rather than merely reading written text, results in a more human connection with your listeners increasing the power of your message.
Fans and followers are the fuel that ignites an athlete’s brand. Fans get to know you as an athlete physically through the performance of your sport, but the podcast is a vehicle by which fans can get to know you as a person. It is a way to convey a message, values and beliefs on a myriad of topics that appeal to you.
Because podcasts do not require a visual commitment, they are easy for people to listen to while also doing other tasks. 65% of podcast consumers say they listen on tablets or smartphones (Edison Research, 2019) and are likely to listen while driving, exercising, walking or doing chores. This makes a podcast a flexible and accessible way to gather information.
Humans have always had a curiosity and desire to learn, and a podcast is a powerful and appealing way to acquire knowledge. Your podcast may be designed to inspire or share your own opinion, but it is worth noting that about three out of four podcast consumers report that they listen intending to learn something new. As an athlete you have a great deal to teach others. Whether it is the actual mechanics of your sport, the grace of sportsmanship, the importance of tenacity, or overcoming adversity, who better than you to share knowledge and lessons?
A podcast is also a powerful marketing tool in today’s culture. You can easily tailor your topics to the interests of those you aim to reach. The podcast is an effective method of getting your identity, brand and/or product to a huge number of fans and a variety of consumers. Statistics show that 54% of podcast listeners are more likely to buy a product after hearing it advertised on a podcast that they listen to increase the power of your podcast, it is important to spend efforts promoting it. Most people are likely to listen to podcasts that they have seen on the social media sites that they visit or those they heard about from online community sources. An athlete with an active social media presence is an athlete that is more important and powerful than ever.
Like so many other areas of life, COVID-19 has affected podcasts too. The increase in time spent at home and the decreased in time spent going out has resulted in an uptick in time spent listening to podcasts. 41% of listeners report an increase in time spent listening since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This might be the right time to launch your podcast, especially since no face-to-face interaction with your audience is required.
Aside from marketing yourself as an athlete or a brand and getting yourself and message out, podcasts can be powerful income generators. Podcast advertisements are quite lucrative, with fees only expected to rise in the future. In 2018, advertisers spent $479 million on podcasts. That amount is expected to pass 1 billion dollars by the end of 2021 Some podcasters earn income by receiving a portion of the money generated by what their listeners are willing to pay for brands or services discovered through the podcast. Running paid ads are another source of profit. It is critical that the ads that you run are compatible with the vibe and message of your podcast. Additionally, your advertisers should reflect and be in line with the image that you are trying to portray. Most podcasts are available for free, but some are accessed by a subscription fee charged by the podcaster.
Podcasts are a relatively new phenomena, beginning in 2003 yet they are advancing and evolving at a rapid rate. 44% of Americans have listened to at least one podcast and this number is growing. The number of ways to access podcasts is vast. On the Apple app alone, there are 550,000 active podcasts with 18.5 episodes available. There is a podcast for any topic you can imagine. This formidable marketing tool deserves your consideration and should be embraced for the power that it packs for you as an athlete.