Why use podcasts in your business?

The podcast industry is booming. Worldwide trends show an increasing demand for audio information, which includes podcasts. The latest research into the prevalence of podcasts shows how online audio listening is growing exponentially.

Every year, Edison Research surveys sample groups around the world to give a global and regional perspective. The results of Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2021 South Africa reveal the increase in popularity of podcasts in South Africa. Here are some of the important findings:

  • Online audio listening has grown from 39% (2019) to 61% (2021)
  • Podcast awareness has grown from 22% (2019) to 48% (2021)
  • Podcast listening has grown from 19% (2019) to 36% (2021)
  • Podcast monthly listening is up from 10% (2019) to 26% (2021)
  • Podcast weekly listening up from 6% (2019) to 20% (2021)
  • 25% of the people surveyed listen to a podcast every day
Why use Podcasts in your business | The Nielsen Network
Podcasts - Shift In The Way Audio Is Created And Consumed | The Nielsen Network

Podcasts in South Africa

South Africa tracks trends in the United States and the United Kingdom, two of the biggest markets for online audio listening. 69% of those surveyed in the USA listen online, with 75% for the UK compared to SA’s 61%.

Smartphones are the most popular devices for listening to audio online, and South Africa is ahead of both the USA and UK in terms of smartphone ownership. 90% of South Africans own a smartphone compared with 83% of people in the UK and 88% of people in the USA.

In terms of the gender of podcast consumers in South Africa, 53% are men, 47% are women.

The age of the podcast audience in South Africa is predictably skewed towards the younger generation. Half the audience (51%) are aged between 15 and 34, 38% are aged between 35 and 54, 11% are older than 55.

Shift in Audio Creation and Consumption

In the past two years there’s been a major shift in the way audio is created and consumed due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19. These fast changes affect not only leisure time listening, but also the way people use audio to do business.

As a result, companies are starting to use podcasts to strategically position their brands, market their products and showcase key personnel.

Companies are also using podcasts for internal communications. Podcasts are used to communicate more effectively with staff to improve employee engagement, leading to long-term employee retention, higher levels of productivity, and improved quality of work.

Advantages of podcasts

  • Podcasts are relatively easy and inexpensive to make once a modest investment has been made in good equipment.
  • Employees can access podcasts on their mobile devices and listen when it suits them.
  • The duration of the podcast can be shaped to fit employee needs. It could be a four-minute chat from the CEO to be consumed during a coffee break, or a longer 20-minute information session for the lunch break or daily commute.
  • Companies can arrange reverse billing solutions on the platforms housing the content, so that employees don’t have to worry about using data for the content. The audio content uses so little data that it’s not a costly exercise for the employer.
Make your own podcasts | The Nielsen Network

Learn to make your own podcasts

How do you make your podcast stand out in this highly-contested arena? How do you ensure your podcasts are professional and meet the exacting standards that people come to expect from media?

Award-winning broadcaster David O’Sullivan has crafted a two-hour podcast training session, drawing on his 40 years of experience in radio and TV in South Africa. He worked for two of the country’s respected commercial radio stations – Talk Radio 702 and KayaFM, creating many podcasts in that time. He also worked on television for the state broadcaster, the SABC, and for Carte Blanche on DSTV.

In this 2-hour podcast training session, David will teach you:

  • How to determine relevant podcast content
  • How to identify an audience
  • How to write effective scripts for the ear
  • How to plan and structure a podcast
  • How to use the equipment
  • How to present a podcast
  • How to distribute a podcast
  • How to market a podcast

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