5 reasons someone isn’t listening to podcasts

Time to use your platform to grab new ears and grow the bottom line

Photo by Jean on Unsplash

The media loves talking/writing about/reviewing podcasts. The entertainment biz loves adapting podcasts for TV and film. Investors, advertisers, and podcast fans are hungry for more podcasts.

But an online survey conducted by Edison Research has revealed some eyebrow-raising stats. Listener growth has been relatively slow. Many people don’t know how to find/listen to a podcast. Many more people know what a podcast is, but don’t listen regularly.

Growing your podcast audience is of the utmost importance, but why not think bigger? You know podcasts are entertaining. You believe in the medium’s unique power to connect. Showing non-podcast listeners what they’re missing out on (and ultimately turning them into fans) is a win for everyone. Here are 5 reasons why you should be using your platform to get new ears excited about the medium too.

  1. They don’t get podcasting

You’re existing audience knows the drill. They are already subscribed and new episodes automatically (and magically) appear in their feed. Or maybe they know to visit your website or check Instagram for the latest and greatest. But for 48% of non-podcast listeners, it’s not that intuitive. Consider ways to creatively educate new visitors with a how-to guide or even a dedicated landing page clearly explaining ways to listen not just to your show, but any podcast.

2. Listening to podcasts is hard

While there is only one way to watch Orange is the New Black (via Netflix), there are several ways to listen to Serial (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, RadioPublic, etc.). With so many different platforms for podcast listening, choice overload can kick in. 80% of non-podcast listeners don’t think they have a dedicated app they can listen from right on their phone! While you should distribute everywhere podcasts can be heard, when promoting your show outside of the podcast take the path of least resistance. Pointing to a third-party app will be less helpful for a newcomer than directing them to listen on your website.

3. They can get X, Y, and Z another way

Three-quarters of people who say they are familiar with the term “podcasting” are not weekly listeners. Our attention may be more divided than ever, but this has not stopped us from consuming more and more media. If someone needs a laugh, they’ll put on a stand-up special. If they are trying to keep up with current events, they’ll read the morning paper. Right? Podcasts fulfill a very specific need though: entertaining and informing us when our eyes are otherwise occupied. It’s the same great content they are looking for that happens to be much easier to consume while in the car, at work, at the gym, or while doing housework.

4. They want to be entertained

There’s the contingent of non-podcast listeners who believe that podcasts are only educational, and another that believes they are just too long to be enjoyable. Let’s show them what they are missing out on. Remember, these are non-listeners so your competition isn’t other podcasts, it’s Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. Who says that podcasts can’t be billed like the next binge-able original series? Sell the groundbreaking new formats that are taking off. Sell the star-power joining podcasting’s ranks. Sell the experience your own show offers.

5. They don’t know they need your content (yet)

65% of non-listeners say there are so many podcasts, they don’t know where to start. That’s because they haven’t found the found the one! 61% of non-podcast listeners would listen if there was one on a topic they were into. With 550,000 podcasts out there covering a panoply of subjects and catering to a variety of hobbies and interests, what gives? Word of mouth is still a powerful discovery machine. Chances are your fans have friends or family members who haven’t heard a podcast yet. Start an awareness campaign that taps into their power of persuasion.


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