Podcasts are the fastest growing form of new media. Spotify said it added 1.2 million new podcasts to its catalog in 2021, while it’s reported that Apple podcasts grew by about half that, with 570,000 new shows. In 2020, a total of 885,000 new podcasts were launched worldwide.
The industry is growing so incredibly fast. However, not every podcast that launches is a certified hit. According to Bloomberg, none of the 10 most popular podcasts in the US debuted in the last couple years. That list of shows averages more than 7 years old, and three of the top five are more than a decade old.
Hit or no hit, there is a podcast for just about anyone and anything. Which makes it worthwhile to do research on which podcasts are a fit for you to be a guest and talk about your book. Here’s why podcasts should be a key part of your PR strategy.
Ratings and reviews don’t lie.
If you’re considering podcast interviews, look at a show’s ratings and as well as the total number of episodes and air dates. The key to a successful podcast (and engaged audience) is consistency. Look for shows that have multiple seasons, publish new episodes on a consistent basis (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.), and have a web presence (website, social media). Once you’re in touch with producers, feel free to ask for the number of downloads. They should feel comfortable and confident in sharing that information with guests of interest.
Podcast interviews are great interview practice.
For authors looking to practice their interviewing skills, podcasts are a fantastic starting point for many reasons. Podcasts offer long-form interviews, giving you a chance to practice your key messages and talking points. In these longer conversations, you can then narrow in on what messages you want to tell in future shorter interviews. The shows have the ability for editing in case you stumble over your words. And because it’s not live, you’ll feel less pressure to get everything perfect, which will hopefully make you feel more comfortable.
Find the right audience.
Podcasts can have niche audiences with strong spending power. While national media could get you in front of millions, your book may only resonate with a small fraction of that audience. With podcasts, you’ll get more targeted shows, and therefore more targeted audiences, where a majority of the listeners will be ready to add your book to their cart.