Branding, Monetising and Marketing your Podcasts. Challenges and Opportunities.
At the Radio Days Ireland Conference this year Patrick Haughey, founder of Audio Brand, hosted a panel focusing on the branding, monetising and marketing of podcasts, specifically produced within the Radio Industry. Patrick has worked in radio for the past 20 years, primarily on the Matt Cooper show on Today FM as Senior Producer. More recently, his company, AudioBrand, makes podcasts for companies and organisations around Ireland and beyond. In this panel he spoke with Georgie Crawford, Creator of The Good Glow Podcast, Kiela Brodigan, Director of Digital at Bauer Media Audio Ireland, and Liam Thompson, Co-Founder and Editorial Director of The Smart 7 Podcast.
Patrick opened the panel by speaking about the growth in creation and listenership of Podcasts, not only in Ireland but around the world. Many more people are getting involved in all industries, including the radio sector. Even the IMRO awards has introduced a category specifically for podcasts which heightens the desire for their production.
Kiela followed up on this point by highlighting the “special relationship” that Ireland has with radio. She explained, “Our love affair with audio isn’t just radio anymore, it has broadened out to include digital audio. That is listening to radio via digital device but it’s also catchy radio, it’s podcasts and its music streaming.” As 77% of our population are listening to digital audio, it’s clear that this is a powerful form of digital media. Kiela showed that within that 77%, 37% of people that are listening to digital audio are listening to podcasts. The younger demographic is driving this growth of listenership.
Kiela asked the question, “What makes podcasts so compelling?”. As she explained the different aspects of podcasts that keep bringing us back for more it was clear that there is something for everyone. That availability to find content to suit your niche interest is what makes this form of media so successful. It is also a platofrm that we can consume while doing other things, such as going to the shops, cleaning at home, driving and exercising. She brought us to an important view, “where audience goes, revenue goes.” There are huge opportunities from an audio perspective in the podcasting industry. Kiela highlighted the IBI’s reports in which states that the market in Ireland is at about €11 million and it’s continuing to grow.
Georgie Crawford spoke next and guided us through the story of her Podcast. Returning to work at 98fm, after her battle with Breast Cancer, she wanted to continue to advocate for breast cancer awareness. She felt that a 10–15-minute slot on a radio or tv show wasn’t enough. She wanted to find somewhere for “women to go to hear other women’s stories at length.” That was when The Good Glow was created. From this moment the podcast has grown into a community. With 12 seasons and counting, Georgie explains the impact of the podcast as they run online courses, merchandise available and now they are taking 130 listeners to New York to do the half marathon. Georgie built a powerful brand that can connect with a variety of people across the nation.
The brain behind The Smart 7 Podcast, Liam Thompson, told us the story behind the show. With a background in radio, Liam wanted to get into the podcast industry. Sitting down with Jamie East, television presenter for Virgin, they created a short form news-based podcast, The Smart 7. It is a daily news podcast that tells you everything you need to know for the day in less than 7 minutes. The topics range from politics, music, sport to entertainment. The podcast was released in April 2020, and has been running everyday since then. It has reached 800,000 downloads so far. This format is quite different to The Good Glow but is just as effective. This shows the variety of content a listener can find when scrolling through podcasts. There is something for everyone.
By guiding us through their own podcasting journeys, the panellists showed us the potential the industry has and how it could incorporate into the radio sector. There are a few differences between radio and podcasts. One, highlighted by Kiela, is that there is a larger reach for podcasts, at almost 17%. There is a flexibility in demographic and there are less restrictions in format and topics. It is also different in characteristics; you can start an episode now and finish it later.
Despite the differences, there is still a chance for radio to extend their content on to this platform. Patrick gave an example where Beat 102 103 took their radio segment ‘The Daily Dilemma’ from the breakfast show into ‘Daily Dilemma Uncensored’ where they can “get a little bit more edgy, language can be more colourful and so can the dilemmas.” Georgie also gave her perspective as she used her spin off show ‘Soul Sisters’ as an example where she could show a different side to herself away from her usual show.
The panelists showed that radio presenters have an opportunity to show a difference perspective, an extension of their on-air personality in a podcast that doesn’t take away from their radio show. Georgie suggested using the analytics of your audience to find what they want from your radio station. She used an example from when she worked in the website analytics of 98fm, anytime they posted in relation to Peaky Blinders their website views would shoot up. She said “What if in season of Peaky Blinders Ryan and Tracey stayed on after the show and recorded a 20-minute podcast about Peaky Blinders? You’re giving your audience what they want.”
Patrick, along with his panellists, opened our eyes to the opportunities that lie within the podcasting industry. This platform continues to grow and there is a space for people within the radio sector to create something special.
You can watch the full video below or click here for more information on Radio Days Ireland 2023.