Some of the most popular podcasts have grown from no followers to over one million episode downloads a month.
But is this growth worthwhile or are these top podcasts just a waste of time?
It may surprise you how much you can benefit from starting your own podcast.
We have analyzed studies conducted by companies like Nielsen and Edison and made a list of 3 compelling reasons you need to start a podcast.
Did you know that in 2005, when Apple first launched podcasts on iTunes, the word “podcast” was named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary?
Now that sounds like a venture that definitely started out on the right foot!
Since then, podcast listeners have continued to grow. To date, there are more than five hundred and fifty thousand podcasts featured by Apple.
That’s over 18.5 million episodes.
To give you an idea of the monstrous growth in this industry, the percentage of the U.S population listening to podcasts increased from about 10% in 2013 to over 30% in 2019.
But why are so many people turning to podcasts? Isn’t this step towards sole audio entertainment a form of technological regression?
Yes, it is – and that’s why it’s getting popular.
The ever-increasing trend of instant gratification has brought about an increase in short-form content and entertainment.
Posts, news articles, video – everything is getting shorter and more simplistic.
As a result, educated members of society are seeking an alternative that doesn’t insult their intelligence.
Podcasts are a fantastic solution to this problem because they force listeners to craft their own illustrations using a, sadly, often underutilized tool – the imagination.
It is, therefore, not surprising that 68% of podcast listeners are likely to be postgraduates.
Some of the best podcasts offer mentally stimulating content – The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast is one such example.
What this means is that if you have the capability of presenting valuable thought-provoking content, there are members of the podcast listener community that will relish it!
The high number of educated listeners means that podcasting allows you to create longer form and highly detailed content – so if you love speaking about your topic of choice, this is the ideal platform for you.
The average podcast episode length is about 43 minutes, compared to an average of only 4 minutes for a YouTube video.
Not only that, but 80% of listeners listen to almost the entirety of each episode!
The longer form of podcasting content also provides you with a unique opportunity for discussing and dissecting your topic that other platforms cannot match.
If you run a business and aim to convert listeners into customers, you will, therefore, have plenty of time to do just that.
This is great news – especially for business solutions with long sales cycles or complicated products.
This is also great news if you love talking.
If there is a topic you particularly love to study in your leisure but struggle to find friends or family members that are willing to sit through 40 minutes of your spiel, starting a podcast may be the answer.
Let’s discuss some of the different podcast formats that facilitate this longer form of content presentation.
With the solo podcast style, you are basically the only one speaking and sharing commentary about a certain subject.
This one is probably the easiest style to get started with – all you need is a compelling subject to talk about.
Though theoretically simple to execute, the challenge lies in being an entertaining presenter and avoiding tiresome monologue.
A great tip to help you create an engaging solo podcast is to write out your entire script prior to a recording rather than winging it.
Then, when you’re done, read the script out to yourself to make sure it sounds natural and conversational.
This will avoid directionless rambling and detours.
Dan Carlin’s ‘Hardcore History’ podcast is one of the best podcasts presented with a solo host.
2) Interview Style
Adding other people to your podcast will add diversity and a higher sense of entertainment to a podcast.
Interviewing guests is a great method of extrapolating first-hand experiences and expert knowledge.
Some of the most popular podcasts of this type invite intriguing or even highly controversial guests.
An example of a top podcast presented in an interview-style is ‘The BeanCast Marketing Podcast’
3) Fiction/Non-Fiction Story-Telling
This style is particularly fun to listen to and present.
If you love retelling famous stories and adding your own commentary – or if you are an author that loves to bring your own stories to life – this podcast style is definitely for you.
One of the most popular podcasts of this type is the S-Town podcast.
It is possible to make money from podcasting – a lot of money.
This income comes from different sources, but the most prominent is ad revenue.
To give you an idea of what is possible, here are some numbers pertinent to some of the most popular podcasts:
Podcasts with a high conversion listener base can charge anywhere between $25-$100 CPM.
CPM means cost per thousand impressions (or listeners).
If you have 100,000 downloads in a single episode, and you run an advertisement priced at $50 CPM, your ad revenue for that single episode is:
$50 x 100 = $5000.
If you run 2 ads within the same podcast episode, your revenue will be $10,000.
And that’s just for one episode!
If you run 3 episodes per week, with 100,000 downloads each and 2 ads at $50 CPM, your gross revenue will be $30,000 per week.
So, you can see how these top podcast stats prove that is, indeed, possible for you to make a comfortable living through this venture.
In conclusion, if you can craft creative and compelling content but you’re too camera shy to start a YouTube channel, launching a podcast could be the best alternative for you.
With an ever-increasing listener base, your potential followers (and customers) are out there in this digital space, waiting for your unique content curation.
If you doubt your capability to create a successful podcast, just remember this – some of the best podcasts currently out there started out with no followers at all.
Have more questions about starting a successful podcast? Leave a comment and let us know.
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