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February 11, 2019
February 11, 2019
Neil Godding via Unsplash

It has been announced that Spotify acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor, two leading podcasting companies. As an avid podcast listener and a growth marketer, I’m thrilled. Up to now, media and brands have mostly overlooked podcasts and have not maximized the channel, both monetarily and as a growth hack.

The magic of podcasts is that there’s something for everyone—crime novels, entrepreneurship, hour-long discussions about skincare ingredients, or mediation. In the hunt for original content and building consumer engagement through storytelling, podcasts have a unique effectiveness. Personally, I find I pay more attention and retain information better from podcasts than many other mediums.

In my experience in beauty DTC, I find that as a growth hack podcasts prove an effective channel of acquisition at a desirable CPA. The specificity of the content provides opportunity to hyper-target your consumer, and the format forces the customer to stay engaged when the ads run—it’s just not that easy to skip the ads. Since integrations are often done by the host, consumers are more willing to stay engaged and keep on listening.

Recent research shows that there are 48MM weekly podcast listeners and 44% of Americans have listened to a podcast. Interestingly, podcasts started as a medium that skewed heavily male, but this has been evening out. In 2017, 27% of US men listened to podcasts, compared to only 21% of women. The number of female listeners grew 17% in 2018 to 24%, while the percentage of male listeners stayed the same.

The revenue opportunities for media companies are huge—in 2017, podcasts brought in $314MM in the US alone, while the global market is nascent. Spotify’s acquisitions not only fit with its target of expanding revenue, but also its objective to become the ultimate listening platform. As a marketer, I am excited to see this hyper-targeted channel expand, and I look forward to new avenues for acquisition. As a consumer, I’m excited to discover what new content will come from this.

On a final note, here are a few of my favorite podcasts—enjoy!

Y Combinator Podcast

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Oprah Super Soul Conversations

Skimm’d from the Couch

NPR How I Built This

Long Story Short with Bobbi Brown


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