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Podcasts: If you build it, they will come

By: Shah Raju

Posted on 07 April, 2019

Podcasts: If you build it, they will come

Podcasts are about to go all Netflix on us. With groundbreaking global hits like Serial, The Joe Rogan Experience and Crimetown passing hundreds of millions of downloads, and Dirty John and Homecoming becoming television shows, now is the time to look into the medium of podcasts for your business or publication.

By 2023, research company Ovum expects podcast listeners to reach 1.85 billion and worldwide ad revenue to hit the $1bn mark by 2022.

Read more about podcast distribution here, and to licence great articles like these go to DISCO Content Marketplace where various payment methods exist to help get your publication the latest tech trends news.


Podcasts fit into people’s lives

Have you ever tried to read a blog whilst driving? If you do that on a regular basis I’m guessing you’re not reading this. What about watching a video on your phone whilst going for a run? Watch out for that truck.

As a listener of podcasts, you don’t have to use your eyes for consumption. So you can drive safely, run and watch out for oncoming traffic and go about your day-to-day life without disruption. The goal of a podcast creator is to make their content a seamless part of your routine.

On average if you’re driving in the UAE, your average commute clocks to around 90 minutes. To compare to the United States, the average commute time is 25.4 minutes, according to the US Census Bureau. That’s 25.4 minutes of podcast audio your audience can be listening to, or four times that number if you can create a podcast to engage with UAE residents.


Podcasts are consumed for longer periods of time

Videos are often short - ninety seconds to a couple of minutes long. The average length of a YouTube video is 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Look at your bounce rate and engagement rate on your blog, as important as the written word is for SEO and traffic, is it really being consumed as it should be most of the time?

Podcasts are consumed differently. When people listen to a podcast, and people enjoy that podcast, they will subscribe to the show and potentially could be listening to the podcast for up to an hour or longer. BBC World Service’s The Hurricane Tapes range from 30 minutes to an hour long, so that’s potentially two episodes a day where commuters can be listening to your content.

And it’s worth reminding you again that podcasts fit seamlessly into your day and thus binge consumption is more common than it would be with blogs, vlogs or videos. I know I listened to all of S-Town in a day.

Also, as a podcast listener you’re not being distracted by the countless tabs open on your browser so there’s less of an incentive to exit out of that content platform. It’s also an opportune platform to place advertisements as they’re less intrusive and distracting than what’s in video and blogging sites. Advertisement in podcasts can even be fun and part of the show as demonstrated by Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.



There are just under 20 million active blogs online. 409 million people view more than 23.7 billion pages each month.

There are 1.8 billion monthly YouTube users, with 4.95 billion videos watched every day on the platform.

Impressive numbers. Or is it? There are 200,000 active podcasts with 98 million listeners. What does that mean? It means it doesn’t matter if it’s The Wall Street Journal or Harvard Business Review, your podcast has just as much going for it to allow you to compete with the big guns.



Advertising is the most popular way to monetise your podcast. Typically, advertisers pay anywhere between $15-40 CPM (cost per thousand) downloads. Since the advertisers only pay for every thousand downloads, it is a fairly cost-effective endeavour compared to paying a flat fee.

Affiliate marketing is another way to monetise. Even if you don’t have products you can recommend products that make sense for your audience to use such as tools, apps and services. Build the affiliate relationship with those companies and earn a commission if your audience purchases the product through your affiliate link.


We all love a stat

  • 17% of marketers plan to add podcasting to their marketing efforts in the next 12 months. (HubSpot, 2018)

  • Monthly podcast listeners grew from 24% of Americans to 26% year over year. (Edison Research, 2018)

  • Podcast listeners are more likely to own a smart speaker. (Edison Research, 2018)

  • 27% of men and 24% of women listened to podcasts in the last month. (Edison Research, 2018)

  • Approximately 10-20% of U.S. power outages are caused by squirrels. (Washington Post, 2015)


Podcasts to listen to in 2019


Monster: The Zodiac Killer

F**ks Given

The Ballad of Billy Balls

Dr Death

Welcome to Night Vale

Wolverine: The Long Trail


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