What You Need to Know About the Current State of Podcasting: New Data

Podcasts have taken off in popularity over the past few years. They have swiftly become a trusted news source, a booming aspect of the entertainment industry, and a conversational way to connect with celebrities and influencers we know and love. What’s your favorite podcast has become as valid a question as what’s your favorite book, tv show, or song? Some of you reading may even have your own podcast at this point. Many of us likely know local doctors, health professionals, fitness trainers, etc. who expand their daily reach beyond their client list by spreading their messaging through regular podcast episodes. But what do podcasts really bring to the media table? I get asked a lot whether a smaller, niche podcast is even worth the time and effort of arranging an appearance on. My answer is always pretty straightforward. If it is your right audience or a subgroup of your target audience, then YES! Those are YOUR people! Regardless of the size of a podcast’s listener base, those who listen regularly are devoted, and a devoted audience is always worth speaking to. There is no better audience, no matter the size. 


The list of available podcasts has grown widely and rapidly across numerous platforms. Some are subscription-based, but many of them can be listened to free of charge! Podcasts exist for virtually every age bracket, interest, and subgenre you can think of. Researching possible podcasts for appearances is not necessarily difficult, but rather time-consuming and tedious. The hardest part is most often finding the right way to connect with a podcaster. 


Podcasters are people, not fish, do not bait them, invite them to engage with you!


Here’s what we know about the current state of podcasting…


Muck Rack conducted a survey recently to better understand podcasters’ biggest challenges and preferences. What they found is:

– The average podcaster covers 5 different roles at once. These include hosting (76%), writing/editing (63%), producing (62%), promotions/marketing (60%), and booking guests (58%)… so basically, they are really f*&%ing busy. 

 – More than 80% of podcasters are responsible for sourcing content for new episodes… meaning, they need experts and guests!

 – The most common reasons why podcasters reject pitches are a lack of personalization (47%) or bad timing (42%)… everyone wants to be seen for who they are and not merely another contact in a lengthy spreadsheet list. 

 – Twitter is the most popular platform for podcasters to reach their audience (41%)… are you active on the platform?


What this all means is you have 30 seconds to wow podcasters with your ideas and content. Do not waste your time or theirs. We cannot stress this enough, it is VERY IMPORTANT to make a pitch personal – show them that you know the audience and that your information is uniquely relevant to them … in 30 seconds or less. Mention past episodes or guests. Mention a particular social media post that resonated with you. Listen to several episodes. Note how the host interacts with the guests. Do they let them speak? What kinds of questions do they ask? How in-depth is the conversation? Put yourself in the listener’s shoes and ask – what would I like to know more about? Then take a look at how your content can fit into that mold. If it seems like too much of a stretch, it probably is. Move onto the next one and start listening.


Google the host. What do they post on social media? Grab their attention by mentioning something you have in common, or a topic you are both passionate about. With 80% of podcasters searching for their own content, chances are you’ll at least get a response that they appreciate you taking the time to do your homework and you’ll get on the list to reach out to later. Connections are your currency in this industry, spend them wisely and save them up!


A little bit of research goes a long way! 


What are your favorite podcasts and why?