Podcasting proves popular & pandemic-proof

2020 was the year the world changed, with COVID-19 upending the way we work, commute and play.

We learned how to stock up on toilet paper well before panic sets in, we discovered how to keep the kids occupied while we’re stuck on Zoom meetings, and we found new ways to entertain ourselves at home.

Puzzles and baking sourdough were the new-found obsessions, but it was the consumption of online media which hit the roof in 2020. And leading the pack was podcasting.

Just look at some of these statistics:

  • There were close to 900,000 new podcasts in 2020. “Only” 320,000 new podcasts were created in 2019.
  • In 2020, a new podcast was launched every 30 seconds.
  • Today, there are close to 2 million podcasts.

Podcasting continues its explosive growth with more and more brands starting to implement the medium as part of their marketing strategy.

Podcasting builds brand authenticity

And why not use podcasting to solidify your brand in the market? Where else can a brand engage with its target market for 20 or 30 minutes regularly, consistently and with far higher completion rates than video?

“I think what the pandemic has done, and we see this across other communications channels, is this desperate need for authenticity, for realness,” says SoundCartel Producer, Nicole Goodman in Podcasting Essentials’ S5E1 The why and how of podcasting in 2021

“People want to connect. They want to feel like they’re being listened to and heard and seen. And so, it’s an opportunity for brands, particularly if you’ve been in a more traditional space, to let go a little bit, have a bit of fun and connect with an audience in a really intimate way, which audio provides,” Nicole insists.

It makes sense for brands to move into the podcasting space.

“It really is the fastest growing communications medium with listeners growing exponentially, too. And of course, for brands, the key ingredient is to be where your audience is,” said Nicole.

So, it’s really not a question of whether a brand should start a podcast, it’s a question of when. This could be the year to do it.

2021 is the year to be bold

Podcasts have existed since 2004, but it took quite a few years for brands to fully acknowledge the benefits and potential of using audio to engage with their audiences.

However, with podcast consumption growing rapidly, at SoundCartel we think 2021 is the year for brands to take a risk, think differently and be bold with their audio strategies.

According to Edison Research and Triton Digital’s ‘Infinite Dial 2021’, in the US, 162 million people over the age of 12 have now listened to a podcast. That number has more than doubled in less than a decade.

So, break the shackles and give listeners something new and creative to talk about and remember you by.

Gimlet and Oral-B thought outside the square in early 2018 with the creation of the ‘Chompers’ podcast – a two-minute podcast every morning and night aimed at 3 -7-year-olds to listen while they brush their teeth. Kids now remind parents it’s time to brush their teeth because they want to listen to the next episode!

Not only was it a creative concept, but they partnered with Amazon Alexa as one of the first podcasts designed for smart speakers, which were still in their infancy in 2018 and not a typical podcasting listening device.

As we hopefully put the pandemic in the review mirror, think of audio in new and imaginative ways. Consider your brand and how you can use audio to surprise and delight audiences. Think about smart speakers, in-car entertainment, immersive and experiential opportunities to stand out from the crowd.

Podcasting is still young and there are endless opportunities to be the brand that is remembered for shifting the podcasting narrative. Be bold in 2021 and perhaps you and your brand will go down in podcasting folklore.


Listen to the full episode of Podcasting Essentials S5E1 The why and how of podcasting in 2021 and subscribe FREE on your favourite podcast app.

To find out more or to discuss your venture into podcasting, get in touch with us.

While you’re at it, you can also subscribe to our daily podcast, Business Essentials Daily, for bite-sized business news, delivered FREE,  week-days, straight to your podcast app.