Why Cultural Nonprofits Should Care About Podcast Advertising News

“Podcast advertising is set to double over the next three years…” (Warc)

“…repeat advertiser business shows they are working, which is why the big podcast advertisers keep coming back.” (National Post)

“…podcast ads are moving beyond the experimental phase to becoming a line item on marketing budgets as brands of varying sizes track KPIs.” (Mobile Marketer)

Keeping our finger on the pulse of the advertising industry and trends in media buys is not typically high on the to-do list for museums, history organizations, and other cultural nonprofits. We’re not selling anything or making revenue off of advertising, so that makes sense.

But I want to make the case that the huge growth in ad spend in podcasting is extremely relevant to our field.

If you keep up with the podcast industry like I do (mainly through the marvelous podnews daily email), you’ll have seen any number of quotes like the ones above. Brands are pouring big money into advertising on popular podcasts, and they’ve been doing it long enough that we can safely say it’s working for them and the trend will continue.

Why is this relevant to cultural nonprofits?

Simple. It means audiences are meaningfully engaged by the podcasts they consume, that they trust them, and that they will take action when asked by their favorite podcast hosts.

Translated to cultural nonprofit speak: If you create a podcast that your audience wants to hear, you can meaningfully engage them in your mission, gain their trust and affection through audio, and ask them to take action on behalf of your organization or mission.

And if you read my book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast, you’ll see that you can do all this with an equipment budget as low as $300, some time, and creativity (or if you have a bigger budget, you can work with a pro to produce a show).

“Podcasters and advertisers alike have long suspected that their listeners might just be a holy grail of engagement. The medium is inherently intimate, and easily creates a one-sided feeling of closeness between listener and host—the sense that the person talking into your ear on your commute is someone you know, whose product recommendations you trust, and whose work you want to support. Cox describes it as a “lean in” medium: “People are really listening and want to consume all of the content that is there and available. There’s a level of dedication that comes from podcast listeners that you otherwise don’t find.” And now the numbers prove it. Podcasts aren’t a bubble, they’re a boom—and that boom is only getting louder.” (Wired)

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