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Did you hear? Podcasts and their place in 2020

Posted 16.06.2020
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Such is their presence in many of our daily lives, it is surprising to reflect that podcasts as a medium have only existed for around 15 years, depending on how you care to record their early development.

It can be hard to grasp how revolutionary they have been as a medium – and how much potential they have to beam ideas to new people and different audiences.

The metrics are staggering; one estimate from Edison Research suggests there are more than 1,000,000 different regularly produced podcast series to download at any given time, and some 30,000,000 episodes of the medium are available to download, on topics ranging from football, to gardening, to stamp collecting.

The same research also reveals how deeply podcasting has embedded itself within the cultural fabric; 75% of households have heard of the term, and 50% of individuals have downloaded at least one episode.

As a communications professional, it goes without saying that these numbers are exciting. For the markets that BLUE serves, the ability to deliver relevant information to interested stakeholders that they can engage with and consume at their discretion has great potential indeed.

In many respects, it is an achievement to have got this far without mentioning the elephant in the room that is the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on our media consumption has been profound. Spared our commutes for now, many of us also find ourselves deprived of what had become a crucial period of learning and information gathering before and after the working day.

However, podcasts are a mainstay of a proactive and progressive digital communications strategy because of their two key differentiators over other forms of media; versatility and control. I have listened to podcasts while running, while walking, while cleaning the house and, importantly, audiences can tailor their listening habits to their interests.

More importantly, in maritime and energy, we should reflect that there will continue to be no events for the foreseeable future, and events that do happen may be a shadow of the busy and lively gatherings that we’d traditionally expect from an SMM, a Posidonia, or an Offshore Technology Conference.

That means for our clients there is a gap to be filled, to ensure debate and discussion continues on the key issues that these sectors face – and boy, do they face some issues. Deprived of a means to debate on some of the shaping forces that are going to define the next decade – decarbonisation foremost amongst them – there is a thirst for information within our markets unlike anything that we have collectively experienced in living memory.

And so: enter the podcast. Were I a betting man, I would put money on one of the permanent alterations to our habits post-COVID-19 being a yet further increase in podcast consumption. That’s why they should remain a core part of communications strategies, as we look to adapt around the changing habits of the decision-makers and key stakeholders that we need to reach the most.

BLUE has developed the capability to manage the entire podcast production process remotely, including theme development, securing contributors, production and editing, and promotion including e-marketing, social and traditional media. If you are interested in our podcast production process, please contact info@blue-comms.com


Rhys Thomas

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