Remember when Podcasts were touted as the next big thing in digital media? About ten years ago? Well, we all know that never really happened, but as of late, podcasts are making quite the comeback in the wake of audience magnets like the game-changing Serial non-fiction series.

“2015 is going to be the year of the podcast,” according to the PodcastMotor website. 

A bold claim, but backed by current statistics.

A recent Edison Research study revealed that about 17% of Americans 12-and-over listen to at least one podcast per month, and roughly 27 million listeners tune in once a week. Fuelled by a hunger for content, monthly audio podcast consumption grew from 39 million monthly users in 2014 to 46 million in 2015.

Serial broke the record as the fastest podcast ever to reach 5 million downloads on Apple's iTunes store, and has been downloaded over 75 million times since 2014, and counting.

Also on the rise is overall quality. Podcasts in 2015 are shorter, more specialized, and better produced than several years ago. And one of the specialized segments that has been cranking out particularly great audible content recently, is digital marketing.

For marketers ready to tune in and explore the whole wide world of spoken word insights, we have compiled The 7 Podcasts Every Digital Marketer Should Listen To. Now would be a great time to go get your headphones…


1. PNR This Old Marketing Podcast

If you only have enough time to follow one single podcast on our list, this Content Marketing Institute weekly should be the one. A Swiss Army Knife of marketing topics, This Old Marketing podcast hosts Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose cover it all during their weekly, under-60-minute instalments: Content marketing news stories of the week, shining examples from the vaults of the CMI, and a weekly one-minute rant on the current content marketing landscape.  

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2. Social Pros Podcast

As anyone working in social media marketing will tell you, there’s a whole lot of reading, reading, reading involved. So how about listening to some fresh angles on social media from pros like host Jay Baer of Convince & Convert fame, and various guests in weekly episodes? Each free instalment of the Social Pros Podcast covers current social media trends and showcase projects from companies who play the social game to their advantage. Plus Jay will take your questions, so join the conversation. 

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3. Six Pixels of Separation

First of all, a strong roster of expert guests can be the make or break of every great podcast. And no marketing podcast does it better than Six Pixels of Separation, hosted by Montreal-based marketer Mitch Joel, author of CTRL ALT Delete. Straight from the frontlines of an always-connected world, Joel cuts right trough the clutter and brings you the essentials of digital disruption. Standout guests include Tom Fishburne, who built a successful business around funny and thought-provoking cartoons, called Marketoons. Not that Mitch Joel needs help from guests – after all, this is the guy Google brings to the stage at Googleplex in Mountain View, California, when they need the toughest developments in marketing explained.

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4. The Content Warfare Podcast

There’s a war going on outside no one in marketing is safe from, and it’s about winning the attention of consumers and potential customers with engaging content. Easier said than done, so listen up: Every week, host Ryan Hanley of Content Warfare Nation fame interviews the Internet’s most accomplished content creators about adding that extra sparkle to content marketing, writing, podcasting, social media and audience building. And if you prefer to take in some winning strategies in written form, give Hanley’s book on Content Warfare a try.

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5. The Bean Cast

This podcast list sure isn’t ranked, as our 6th entry is regularly called, “The Best Marketing Podcast Anywhere.” Hosted by Bob Knorpp of marketing consultants Cool Beans Group, The Bean Cast is a weekly round-table discussion of up-to-the minute news from the global marketing landscape. Social media, ad blocking, behind-the-scenes anecdotes – all is fair game as the panel of marketing luminaries speaks their mind with no holds bared and a healthy dose of humor. And for marketers considering starting their own podcast, Bob has some weighted perspective: Shoud I Podcast?

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6. TED Radio Hour

Concluding our list on a high note, the TED Radio Hour is not your classic marketing podcast, but something much bigger. Hosted by the good folks at NPR – voice of alternative America and mandatory listening at every food co-op and organic bakery – the TED Radio Hour takes the most inspiring bits of luminary TED talks, and wraps them around a common theme, including the qualities of champions, the end of privacy, or questions like, “Do We Need Humans?” Well, this podcast needs human listeners, so tune in – host Guy Raz and TED’s best and brightest guarantee an inspiring journey. 

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Hey, Marketers… Feeling inspired?

Thinking about using podcasts for your marketing? Not a bad idea. While podcast advertising is still in its infancy – with expected ad spend below $34 million through 2016 (ZenithOptimedi) – recent research shows encouraging results.

According to a series of ad effectiveness studies by Podtrac, podcast advertising leads to a 69% percent average brand favorability rating, 62% average unaided ad recall, 81% increase in product or service awareness, and 187% increase in usage intent.

Pretty convincing numbers, huh?

Maybe it’s time to look at some professional podcasting equipment, and dig into some sobering, but illuminating insights on the business realities behind the scenes, like this article featuring Serial creator Sarah Koenig.

2015 is the year of podcasts, and they’re more than just a fleeting trend. As the number of podcast downloads continues to grow, so is the number of prospective advertising customers. Marketers who decide to take the leap can bank on one fact: the audience is listening.


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