It was thought to be left behind in the past, in an era limited to audio. Quite the opposite is true. Podcasting has made a strong comeback in recent years.
The success of podcasting continues to grow, as the figures revealed in the recent Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2020 survey show. In this survey, 26% of the Belgians interviewed stated that they had listened to podcasts in the past month. Young people under the age of 25, the ‘Generation Z’, seem to be the most enthusiastic listeners. A Nielsen study describes the vast majority of podcast fans as urban dwellers from higher socio-professional categories.
From a type of ‘audio on demand…
According to a common definition in Belgium, a podcast is audio content delivered via the internet and accessible on a computer or mobile application. Originally, the podcast was a kind of blog, but in an audio format. It has evolved into content created specifically for it, the so-called native content. According to the Podcast Insights website, there are currently more than one and a half million podcasts. The five most popular categories of content being ‘news and current affairs’, ‘lifestyle’, ‘true crime’, ‘sports’ and ‘specialists’. Other categories also include ‘humor’, ‘economics’, ‘intimacy’ or ‘arts’.
…to a successful format, with a very personal, lively, diversified approach
Over the past two or three years, we have noticed that native content podcasting is starting to develop in Belgium. The first edition of the Brussels Podcast Festival even took place earlier this year.
This growth is linked partly to the emergence of production houses dedicated to podcasting everywhere, including in Belgium. Its rising popularity can also be explained by the demand of the younger generation to use new, untraditional methods to consume information. Technological progress has only but accelerated this trend.
The characteristics of the podcast are diverse and varied. It is relatively easy to make and its implementation does not require a long, tedious process. Its direct tone, where the ‘I’ is the norm, gives it a striking, human, but also informal connotation, which listeners greatly appreciate. This more individual, even personal, approach also means that the listener generally remains engaged right to the end. Finally, podcasting is very similar to radio in the way it is consumed: you can listen to it everywhere, even when doing something else. This accessibility makes this medium even more popular and user-friendly.
Have you thought about a podcast for your company?
The multitude of possible contents and formats makes podcasting an important new communication tool for organizations in the future. Certain media have been using it for two or three years in Belgium, while some companies have used it more than others. In most cases, it is used to make content available again to the public, or to inform target audiences on a particular theme.
Given its ‘true language’ and long format, this communication tool can be used to address employees and as a channel for ‘employee engagement’. Indeed, you can share your organization’s insights, strategies, announcements or values on a more personal and engaging tone through podcasts.
Podcasts offer great flexibility as users can choose to (re)listen to it everywhere, be it in the workplace or at home. This is particularly useful during the current health crisis, where employees’ presence at the office’s headquarters has become a rare occurrence.
Possibilities are almost endless, even in a world restricted by social distancing and teleworking. Why not organize press conferences in podcast mode? A simple link to the speech in a press release would make this possible…
Facebook and Instagram have become enormously popular among organizations wanting to share ‘niche’ information with specific target audiences. Here too podcasts offer the possibility to send out a controlled message to your key audiences. And this without the restrictions in tone and format of other information channels. Forget the 90 seconds or 280 characters…
“We will certainly have to rely on this ‘slow communication’ mode in the future. It offers an attractive option for many organizations to increase their visibility or manage their reputation, through communication channels of their own”, emphasizes Mathieu Van Overstraeten, Senior Consultant at akkanto.
Interested in the podcast format for internal or external communication? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our experts.
Contact our experts