Podcasts: fad or must-have?

9 February 2024
Reading time 5 minuty

One in two Americans declare that they have listened to a podcast at least once in the past year. Poland is among the top European countries with the fastest growing number of listeners. Where are we at the moment and where are we going in this alternative – for now – reality of digital online broadcasts? Why such popularity and how can we benefit from it?

Rather, we should start by asking “why you need” to use it. A podcast is a broadcast, except that it’s not on the radio. There is a voice, sound, a presenter, sometimes a guest. A lead, jingles, sometimes music, background. However, all this is not on the air, but on the network. That is, you don’t need a license, a transmitter, a studio equipped with million-dollar equipment. All you need is a microphone, a computer, the Internet and last but definitely not least: an idea. Since it’s so simple, the answers to the questions in the subtitle seem obvious. All the more so as the potential audience is growing rapidly.

According to data from the Media Monitoring Institute, in 2019, nearly 126,000 mentions of podcasts appeared in press coverage, portals and social media. This is half as many as in the previous year. The current year marks the first time that the world’s famous and most prestigious journalism prize, the Pulitzer Prize, will be awarded to a podcast author. This is because “audio reportage” joins the list of honored categories.


The estimated size of the global audience is impressive. In 2018, the total number of online broadcast listeners reached 800 million, and is expected to nearly double to 1.5 billion in the next two years. At the end of last year, news of a study conducted by Publicis Groupe on behalf of Agora Radio Group’s Tandem Media[1] swept through the trade media. It showed that nearly one in three Polish Internet users declared themselves podcast listeners. 27 percent of Internet users admitted to having listened to it at least once in the previous month, and nearly two-thirds of this group did so for the first time in the last year. This result puts our country at the European average.

We generally reach for podcasts for entertainment, in search of knowledge on a specific topic and for relaxation. What is particularly noteworthy is that the content aired in podcasts is rated by listeners as expert and credible (much more so than content published in portals, newspapers, television or radio). This is one of the more important reasons why, in an era of increasingly noisy and annoying media hype, podcast content is gaining in popularity so intensely.

The thematic diversity at the same time allows for a very precise selection of the content we acquire as listeners. This is the opposite of mass radio stations, where not only do we have no influence on the frame and playlist, but we are also bombarded with commercials. So it’s not so much the form itself, but rather the technical enclosure of the audio message, that are the big pluses in this case on the podcasting account.


First, it’s worth establishing what a fad is: according to the dictionary definition, it is, among other things, the short-lived popularity of something new in some field[2]. Delving into this description, it would be worthwhile – especially as we are talking about podcasts – to determine what is short-lived, and whether, for the purposes of a dissertation on their popularity, to turn a blind eye to this element of the definition. After all, if we consider short-lived, something we’ve been witnessing for several years, and will certainly be for years to come as well, then podcasts are in vogue, and growing. Interestingly, growing very fast in Poland. According to Voxnest[3], there is a 40% increase in listeners month-on-month in Poland, putting our country in the top ten countries in Europe[4]. According to Spotify, there are about 3,000,000 regular podcast listeners in Poland.

It is difficult to get a different impression, observing the emerging market for services related to the broadly understood production of digital broadcasts. For it is not only individuals “who have something to say” who are reaching for this channel of communication with the audience, although, of course, ideally when this criterion is met. In the direction of speaking with a voice to the audience, brands are increasingly willing to look. Hence corporate podcasts gaining popularity, examples include: Deloitte, Mercedes-Benz, or Generali. This is certainly the result of the potential of running one’s own channel with broadcasts, which communication specialists have recognized. It is impossible to pass by the figures quoted at the outset that speak of potential reach. And when you add to this the shortening of the distance between the listener and the brand, the building of an innovative and expert image, the friendliness of the environment (much greater than in the case of, for example, YouTube), it is no wonder that the podcast is not only a source of useful information, but also – if not primarily – an excellent tool in the hands of a PR person.


How much does it cost to reach viewers/readers with content, how much does it cost to effectively identify a target audience? How much effort must be faced in order for the editors of a reach medium to be willing to offer their audience news grounded in a specific context (the search for and selection of which do not “do themselves” either)? These are rhetorical questions. It’s worth looking at the topic from the opposite perspective: what if we were to create “our own medium”? A podcast channel, although perhaps not so reachable, is certainly very qualitative. And isn’t that what the struggle to break through with specific messages to the consciousness of listeners, who are increasingly loudly signaling the demand for an offer tailored to their needs, should be about? That is, the effort is similar, and the potential effect is incomparably better. Therefore, a podcast in an organization looking for an alternative and forward-looking method of communicating with the public is a must-have of the season. Not short-lived at all.

How to get into it?

  • Think about your target audience. Identify the addressees of your message. Remember that you don’t have to worry about limitations, the narrower the audience, the better. This will be your own channel, so who you reach is up to you, not the profile of an already existing medium.
  • Think about the scenario. “Package” the message with an interesting context. Consider that the potential is in multi-episode series. Single “shots” are much less effective.
  • Select a presenter. Voice proficiency, freedom in front of the microphone and charisma of the presenter will make up the “spirit” of your broadcasts. Take care of the balance between this person’s personality and the power of the message in such a way that one does not overshadow the other.
  • Take care of your equipment. Many professionals are of the opinion that the technical quality of a recording can go down the drain if the content defends itself. There is much right in this, but nothing can replace clear and dynamic sound. Such sensations in the audio world are sometimes crucial.
  • Select hosting/platform. The produced podcast needs to be published somewhere. There are many solutions, from dedicated platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, to your own media (a suitable player on your website), to social media profiles and even YouTube.
  • Promote channel. Use all the tools that can support you in the fight to reach specific listeners: GDN, GSN, Facebook Ads, BumperAds (YouTube), let it be talked about on your SoMe profiles and in mailings.

Going through all the above steps will make it easier for you to work with an agency that will comprehensively take care of everything important. Pay special attention to the offer that involves the production of content in house – this will optimize costs and help you control the process.

Hear you later!

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