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Pay Attention to Podcast Popularity

I walked into the tiny reception area of my friend Jimmy’s office and saw the receptionist Marge at her desk. She’s a Russian immigrant in her early 80s who thinks retirement is for lazy people. Marge’s brass blonde hair is spun into an amazing beehive hairdo. 

We chat for a while, then I ask what Jimmy’s doing. “He’s listening to iPod,” said Marge. I was surprised because I wasn’t sure they even made iPods anymore. I wondered why Jimmy would have one.

“He’s listening to an iPod?” I ask. “Yes, iPod,” she replies firmly. “You go back.” 

I walked back to his office and spotted Jimmy with his feet up and earbuds from his iPhone in his ears. He was not listening to something on an iPod  — he was listening to a podcast. He’s not the only one listening. 

Lots Of Podcasts

Podcast fans have lots of choices. Nielsen says there are 1,750,000 podcasts available. Comedy is the most popular podcasting genre, followed by education and news.

Lots Of Listeners

Edison Research says 55 percent of the US population (155 million people) has listened to a podcast. Thirty-seven percent (104 million) listened to a podcast in the last month. Twenty-four percent (68 million) listen to podcasts weekly. Nielsen reports 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans.” Listeners are much more active on every social media channel and are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media.

The Leaders List

My favorite podcast is “Business Wars” by Wondery. I asked some local leaders to name their favorite podcast. Their answers follow.

Tim Petrey, Managing Member at HD Davis CPAs, enjoys “How I Built This” with Guy Raz. Struthers Mayor Catherine Cercone Miller listens to Simon Arias’ “Grind Cast.” 

Like me, Chris Jaskiewicz, President of Advantage Video Productions, listens to “Business Wars.” “The WOW Factor” is the podcast of choice for Sam Covelli, Owner/Operator of Covelli Enterprises. 

Aimee Fifarek, Executive Director of the Public Library, likes the “The Marketplace” podcast. Jeff Herrmann, CEO of Youngstown Publishing Company, subscribes to “Masters of Business” with Barry Ritholtz.

Mark Levy, President/CEO of Revenue Development Resources, enjoys the “Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast.” And Barb Ewing, CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator, listens to “In Search of Black History” with Bonnie Greer.

Should You Advertise on Podcasts?

As a platform for your ads, podcasts are uniquely able to reach a wider audience because listeners can tune in anywhere. The demos are attractive. The average podcast listener is in the 18-54 age bracket. Forty-five percent have a household income of $75,000 or more.

Advertising on a typical podcast runs about $15-$30 CPM. A top podcast can run as much as $100 CPM. Compare this to Facebook, which has a typical CPM around $10; Instagram is about $5.

Produce a Podcast as a Marketing Tool?

Should you create a podcast to market your product? About three percent of U.S. marketers make podcasts. It takes a lot of time to do it right. You can’t spend most of the podcast promoting your products, so you have to create content that is of value and interest to listeners. 

If your podcast is successful, marketgrowth.com says you’ll see increased website traffic.

Your brand will appear in more places online, giving you greater brand visibility and improved search results. 

Pay Attention

Only you can decide when and how to get involved by advertising on podcasts or creating your own podcast.

The growing popularity of podcasts makes them something you should consider putting in your marketing plan eventually. You don’t want your competitors to beat you to podcasting while you’re still listening to your iPod.


About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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