Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years, with an estimated 1 in 3 people globally listening to episodes every month.
The hype around them has resulted in a flood of podcasts on the market, with Google claiming to have indexed over two million podcasts.
It’s understandable given the promises many other technologies have made in the past that publishers may be hesitant about starting podcasts for their own brands. But there are actually numerous reasons why publishers are in an excellent position to launch a podcast and get ahead of the competition.
One of the first things to do when looking to start a podcast is to research the demand. In South Africa, media companies looking for ways to diversify their revenue would benefit from seriously exploring podcasts.
Here are some of the key reasons why.
1: 43% of South Africa’s online population have listened to a podcast in the last month
Digital media trends are tougher to measure in South Africa compared to countries like the US, because only around half of the country’s population have regular internet access. But of this ‘online population’, 43% have listened to a podcast recently according to Reuters’ Digital News Report 2019. This is a high percentage compared to the 36% average in other countries around the world.
The popularity of podcasts is likely to be due to them being easily available offline, so people can download episodes onto their mobile phones when connected to Wifi. Mobiles are the primary way of connecting to the internet for most South Africans, but high data prices are an issue in the country and have stunted the growth of online radio, as it is unaffordable to stream on the go.