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The Future of Sound: Emerging Trends in Branded Podcasts

Last updated on

March 9, 2024

The Future of Sound: Emerging Trends in Branded Podcasts

Keep up to date with the latest trends in branded podcasts that are revolutionizing the industry including AI integration, content repurposing, cross-promotion, data-driven strategies, employee advocacy, and innovative advertising techniques.

Tianna Marinucci


 min read


With 464.7 million podcast listeners and a market valuation of 23.75 billion, podcasting continues to increase in popularity, captivating audiences and revolutionizing the way we consume audio content. 

As the industry continues to evolve, staying ahead of emerging trends becomes crucial for podcasters who strive to maintain relevance and engage their listeners effectively. 

In this blog post, we explore 7 emerging trends that are shaping the future of branded podcasts, providing insights and strategies to help you and your team stay ahead of the game. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. The explosion of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various industries, podcasting included. AI-powered podcasts have experienced 500% growth in the past year and reach 45 million Americans each month.

With AI integrations, podcasters can enhance the listening experience and reach a wider audience – all while reducing costs by up to 50%.

Here’s how:

a) Personalized recommendations:

By analyzing a robust amount of audio data, AI-powered dialogue recognition is able to discern speech and emotions. This capability enables the generation of personalized episode recommendations based on listener patterns, behavior, preferences, and interests. By leveraging this technology, podcasters can connect with their target audience more effectively and increase engagement.

b) Transcription and voice recognition:

AI-powered transcription services can convert podcast episodes into a written format, making them searchable and accessible to a broader audience, improving SEO and increasing accessibility. Additionally, voice recognition technology can enable listeners to search for specific content within episodes, improving user experience and making podcasting more user-friendly.

c) Voice assistant integration:

With the rise of voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, podcasters can optimize their content for voice searches. By providing structured data and metadata, podcasters can ensure their shows appear in relevant voice search results, leading to increased discoverability and audience growth. It is estimated that by 2024, the number of digital voice assistants is projected to reach 8.4 billion units.

d) Audio editing:

AI algorithms provide automated features for audio editing, such as eliminating background noise and adjusting speaker volumes. This innovation has the potential to greatly improve the audio quality of podcast episodes, offering significant benefits to the podcasting industry by reducing the need for mundane tasks, enhancing sound quality and accessibility, and facilitating personalized experiences. 

e) Interactive podcasting:

The trend of interactive podcasting is growing in popularity as it allows listeners to actively participate in conversations with AI-powered chatbots. Through the ability to understand and respond to dialogue, AI-powered podcast platforms like Lumen AI, enhance the overall listener experience, making it more engaging and interactive. 

2. Content repurposing

Content repurposing involves taking existing podcast episodes and transforming them into different formats, such as blog posts, videos, or social media snippets.

Content repurposing is a powerful strategy that allows podcasters and marketers to extend their reach and provide valuable content across different platforms. In fact, 94% of marketers repurpose their content. 

This strategy offers several benefits including:

a) Increased reach:

By repackaging your content into different formats, such as blog posts, videos, social media snippets, or infographics, you can engage with people who prefer consuming information in different ways. This enables you to tap into new audiences and attract individuals who may not typically listen to podcasts.

b) Enhanced engagement:

Not everyone has the time or inclination to listen to a full podcast episode. By repurposing your content into bite-sized pieces, you cater to people with different content consumption habits. Some may prefer reading a blog post or watching a short video, while others may enjoy listening to a podcast episode. By accommodating these preferences, you can capture the attention of a wider audience and provide them with content in formats they find more convenient.

c) Diversified revenue streams:

Repurposed content opens opportunities for monetization beyond traditional podcast sponsorships. By leveraging multiple platforms and formats, podcasters can attract brand collaborations, sponsorships, and advertising deals that extend beyond the audio realm.

d) Optimize SEO:

Repurposing podcast content into blog posts or articles allows you to optimize your content for search engines. By transcribing your podcast episodes or creating related written content, you increase the chances of appearing in search engine results for relevant keywords and topics. This can significantly improve your SEO efforts and attract organic traffic to your website or podcast.

3. Cross-promotion

Cross-promotion is the strategic collaboration between two or more brands to promote each other's offerings or reach a wider audience. In the context of podcasting, cross-promotion involves podcasters partnering with each other to promote their shows and expand their listener base. 

This is an extremely effective strategy, as Discoverpods discovered that 80% of consumers find podcasts through cross-promotion.

Other cross-promotion benefits include:

a) Increased exposure:

Most commonly, the goal of cross-promotion is to increase your podcast’s exposure. By collaborating with other podcasters, you can tap into their existing audience and expose your show to a larger group of listeners in your target audience. Cross-promotion allows you to reach people who may not have discovered your podcast otherwise, expanding your reach and, ideally, attracting new subscribers.

b) Credibility and trust:

When podcasters recommend each other's shows, it builds credibility and trust among their respective audiences. Listeners often trust the recommendations of hosts they already enjoy, so cross-promotion can serve as a valuable endorsement, encouraging listeners to give your podcast a chance.

c) Diversified content:

Collaborating with other podcasters can bring fresh perspectives and expertise to your show. By featuring guest appearances or conducting joint episodes, you can offer your audience a diverse range of content and introduce them to new voices and ideas.

d) Social media and blog promotion:

Typically, podcasters promote each other on their respective shows; however, they can also promote each other on their social media, blogs, or websites. This kind of cross-promotion can spruce up your SEO or backlink strategy. 

4. Data-driven podcasting 

As every marketer knows, it hasn’t always been easy to gather accurate, relevant data about your branded podcast. Luckily, there has been an increase in the tools available to gather podcast data and metrics. 

In 2023, branded podcasts are emphasizing data-driven decisions to make an impact and add value to their shows. Here are a few ways that they’re leveraging data:

a) Number of listeners and downloads:

The number of listeners and downloads for each episode can give you a great sense of which episodes are resonating with your audience. We suggest paying attention to listener peaks within episodes, identifying content that strikes a chord with their audience. This information helps them inform future content decisions and determine where to place effective call-to-actions (CTAs).

b) Demographics, location, and device type:

Marketers use this information to strengthen their brand and monetize their show. For example, if they discover that their podcast is popular in a specific city, they organize live events and seek sponsorship opportunities from local brands. Additionally, knowing the device type and platform preferences of their audience allows them to create additional content or optimize their audio SEO to provide added value and reach a larger audience.

c) Measuring audience engagement:

By analyzing listener drop-off or consumption rates, marketers can identify areas where audiences might skip intros or ads, pause or stop listening, or re-listen to certain sections. By understanding these patterns, they can enhance their content and address any issues, like drawn-out advertisements, hindering engagement. 

d) B2B Analytics:

B2B Analytics is a cutting-edge feature that empowers brands to delve into the world of data and gain valuable insights into their podcast's impact. CoHost gathers listener data from various apps, allowing brands to identify which companies are tuning into their show and uncover valuable leads. Brands can obtain a detailed breakdown of the companies listening on a show and episode level, identify engagement touchpoints, and export the list of companies tuning into their podcast to optimize lead generation efforts. 

5. Leveraging employee advocacy for growth

One of the significant advantages of branded podcasts lies in the potential to create a show that your employees are genuinely proud of and excited about. When employees feel a sense of ownership and pride in the podcast, it not only reflects positively on your brand but also enhances the reputation and image of the employees associated with it. This symbiotic relationship between the podcast and the employees can be a powerful driver for growth and success.

When you develop a podcast that genuinely excites and engages your employees, they become natural brand ambassadors. They are more inclined to share the podcast with their personal and professional networks, driven by the pride they feel in being associated with it. 

In fact, employees' posts get 561% greater reach and 800% more engagement than posts shared by companies. Their genuine enthusiasm and belief in the podcast's content and message make them credible advocates, significantly amplifying your reach and influence.

This type of growth is particularly valuable because it stems from authentic personal connections and trust, which can have a lasting impact on expanding your podcast's listener base. This is particularly evident, as 76% of people say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by individuals over content shared by brands.

Moreover, leveraging employee advocacy for podcast growth goes beyond the immediate reach of their networks. The increased visibility can attract new listeners who may not have been directly connected to your employees but discover the podcast through the buzz and conversations generated by their advocacy efforts.

To effectively leverage employee advocacy for podcast growth, it’s essential to cultivate a culture that encourages and supports employee engagement. Consider organizing internal events, such as listening parties or Q&A sessions, to generate enthusiasm and allow employees to share their perspectives on the podcast. Encourage them to share episodes on their personal social media profiles and provide them with pre-written promotional content or graphics that they can use to spread the word easily.

6. Videos in podcasting

A video podcast is essentially a podcast supplemented with a video element. This video element can be as simple as a static image or as complex as a recorded video featuring podcast hosts and guests. 

One key factor driving the video trend in podcasting is YouTube, which currently boasts 2 billion logged-in users and only continues to grow. On top of that, recent statistics reveal that 43% of monthly podcast listeners have enjoyed podcast content on YouTube within the past year. 

By transforming a regular podcast into a video podcast, creators can tap into this existing demand and capture the attention of those who prefer video content.

Here are a few reasons more podcasters are adding video elements to their shows:

a) Humans are inherently visual creatures:

Approximately 30% of our brain dedicated to processing visual information. Faces provide a wealth of data and communicate more than spoken language alone, enabling podcasters to deliver more value to their audience and establish deeper connections by incorporating video.

b) Reach a broader audience:

As discussed, the second largest social media platform, YouTube, serves as a gateway to a massive audience of potential fans. For example, Andrea Raquelle, producer and content provider for the "Hey Frase" podcast reports that prior to incorporating video recordings, her podcast downloads plateaued at 10,000. However, after introducing video, growth skyrocketed, reaching 35,000 downloads within two months.

c) Video is more conducive to social media:

Autoplay videos without sound are a common feature in social media feeds, meaning social media platforms are optimized for video content rather than audio. By incorporating video into their podcasting strategy, creators can make their content more visually appealing and captivating for social media users. While audio clips can be shared on social media, they lack the immediate engagement and impact of videos.

7. Podcast advertising

It’s not a new revelation that podcast advertising presents a lucrative opportunity for both podcasters and advertisers

Unlike other forms of digital ads, podcast ads are welcomed by listeners, with nearly 90% having a positive attitude toward them. Furthermore, over 60% of podcast listeners are inclined to consider purchasing products advertised on their favorite podcasts, indicating high conversion potential.

In recent years, podcast advertising spending has been on the rise, with estimates suggesting it will surpass $2.5 billion in the U.S. by 2024. 

With increased ad spend comes innovative advertising strategies. Here are some of the advertising trends on the rise to capture audience attention and generate revenue:

a) Dynamic ad insertion:

Dynamic ad insertion enables podcasters to deliver targeted ads to listeners based on their interests, demographics, or location. This personalized approach increases the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and maximizes ad revenue.

b) Branded content:

Instead of traditional ad spots, branded content integrates advertisements seamlessly into the podcast episode. This approach creates a more organic and authentic listening experience while providing value to the audience.

c) Influencer collaborations:

Collaborating with influencers or other podcasters in the same niche can help podcasters tap into new audiences and cross-promote their shows. This strategy boosts brand awareness and can lead to an increased listener base and monetization opportunities.

d) Clickable ads:

Platforms like Spotify have revolutionized podcast advertising by introducing clickable ads or call-to-action cards, allowing advertisers to engage with listeners directly. This innovation expands the possibilities for visual marketing within podcasts, providing a seamless user experience and eliminating the need for lengthy URLs or manual searches.

Are you already leveraging the top trends for 2023?

The world of podcasting is evolving rapidly, and staying ahead of emerging trends is crucial for podcasters looking to engage their audience effectively. The year 2023 brings several exciting trends that are shaping the future of podcasting. 

By leveraging AI, content repurposing, cross-promotion, video, advanced data analytics, employee advocacy, and cutting-edge advertising strategies, podcasters can stay relevant, engage their audience effectively, and thrive in the ever-evolving podcasting landscape of 2023.