The word “publisher” has evolved dramatically in the past 25 years. Once a term reserved for printed works, the advent of the internet has now taken publishers into entirely new media. One particular medium that has garnered extreme success for publishers is the podcast. A hybrid between radio and blogging, podcasts focus on educational or entertaining content, often featuring guests to provide validity and expertise.
In terms of success, iTunes alone recorded its 50 millionth podcast stream in 2018. Podcasts average an 80% complete listen rate (80% of people that start a podcast finish or almost finish it), according to the 2018 Infinite Dial report. Also, the Interactive Advertising Bureau stated that in 2017, the U.S. podcasting industry reached $314 million in revenue, an 86% increase over the $169 million in 2016.
What does this have to do with print?
Making the most of your existing content
Magazines and timely print publications crank out more content than any other publishers. This means on top of the constant flow of new stories, there are ever-growing archives.
Archives are full of great content that should be leveraged, but taking dated content and making it relevant again is not a simple task. Many opt for the “throw it up on social media” plan or add a boilerplate to every new story that links to the archives. These do make your archives easier to discover, but they don’t make your archives more relevant.
A more successful solution is to switch up the format of the content. This is where podcasts can come in. Look through your archives for stories that follow a theme, and curate a podcast series of your old stories. With a few minor adjustments and improvements to the content, it is easy to turn an existing editorial piece into a podcast story. Reaching out to the original sources for quotes or soundbites is great too.
These podcasts are entirely new content, and will reach both your existing audience and brand new audiences. They can also help increase your site traffic in two ways:
- Publish the podcast on the front page.
- Publish each podcast story on the web pages of the original story.
Generate new content that print can’t cover
The written word and imagery are two of the most powerful forms of communication, but there is some content better suited for other types of media. Video and radio are long-standing options to cover the other content, but podcasts have become just as viable an option, possibly an even better one for one reason: money.
To do video and radio right, a high-end studio and off-site equipment can be tens of thousands of dollars upfront. Even if doing the bare basics, it involves a decent amount of time and money to produce, and then there are distribution costs on top of that.
Podcasts serve as a much more affordable solution. For a publisher looking to do it on a budget, a podcast can be produced for a few hundred up front and less than $100 a month (outside of time spent).
Best of all, podcasts are extremely versatile content. They can live on a website, be on the radio, be used in video, and be downloadable or streamable. Also, audio is the easiest form of content to consume, as it requires little to no effort, and can reach people on the go, like drivers.
Instantaneous audience and distribution
Building a brand and audience takes an immense amount of effort. Publishers know that best, as they dedicate a lot of time and money building a sizable circulation.
Fear of having to start building an audience from scratch often keeps publishers from delving into other media platforms. It’s logical; if the existing print or online audience is not there, it is hard to justify the effort of making unique content and dedicating time and energy to deliver it on those other platforms.
Podcasts escape both the issue of building a new audience and delivering the content. Actually, both issues are resolved by the same solution: where podcasts live. Almost all podcasts are hosted and delivered on high-profile applications, like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google’s podcast app.
A massive pool of people utilize these applications, and that pool covers almost every demographic and geographic group. The likelihood that a publisher’s audience already has a presence in that pool is very high. Not to mention, these people are already seeking content via podcasts and all congregated in one place, making testing for your audience much easier than other online or digital media options.
Newer, more creative advertising options
Almost every publication makes its margins off advertisement, so more advertising options is a fast way to a publisher’s heart.
On top of the traditional commercial spots, podcasts provide prime placement for sponsored content. Interview an advertiser as a podcast story. Review a product. You can even run a print story with it to upsell the opportunity. Best of all, because it is recorded, you have full control of the script, even in an interview. You also have the ability to sell sponsorship for the podcast, offsetting the costs of the podcast and generating even more profits.
For more information regarding podcast opportunities for publishers, click here. To learn more about podcast industry statistics, click here. Further details on why podcasts should fit into your content strategy are available if you click here.
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