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Explain the Content of Podcasts, Not the Technology

Edison Research webcast offers advice to podcasters

One sure sign that NAB is right around the corner is the release by Edison Research and Triton Digital of the latest edition of Infinite Dial. The report is always crammed with the latest insights on consumer behaviors as they relate to media and technology in America. You can bet it will be discussed and dissected at length in Las Vegas next month.

This year, the highlights of the report were presented by Edison’s Senior Vice President Tom Webster during a one-hour Facebook Live broadcast on March 8. The focus was podcasting’s share of speech.

Webster began with some of the most recent numbers — 60% of Americans are familiar with podcasting, while a quarter of those have listened to one or more in the last month. That leaves about a third of Americans who know about podcasts, but don’t consume them. Webster notes that a goal for all podcasters should be devising strategies to get these people onboard. He concluded the Facebook Live session with three take-aways for podcasters seeking a bigger slice of the speech audience.

The first, explain the content of podcasts, not the technology. When respondents were questioned regarding what they liked the most about podcasts, their answers were centered around four topics — content, connection, community and learning something new. Despite that, much of the current promotional practice simply lists podcasts and discusses technical topics such as RSS feeds, mobile apps and different devices. Over the past 11 years that Edison has been tracking podcasts, Webster notes, the technology has gotten much simpler. He adds that if podcasters would align their promotional strategies with the reasons that people listen, the technology side should take care of itself.