It feels like everywhere we turn lately someone is launching a podcast, and we're not mad about it. With stats showing that 51% of the US population has listened to one, podcasting has gone mainstream. They are an integral way to get news, spread brand awareness and, let's be honest, seriously binge on the latest true crime drama. For marketers, podcasts offer an intimate brand experience that provides a high share of voice, an engaged audience and uncluttered ad space. “Big things are happening in the podcast space,” Bruce Supovitz, Senior Vice President of national audio services at Nielsen Audio, said. “Revenues in the US are expected to hit over half a billion this year—a strong start for a medium that’s only a decade or so old and big companies are taking note.”  Here are 5 things to know about podcasts right now:

1.  We just want to be entertained.  

Newly released data about podcasts indicates that the #1 and #2 most popular podcast genres in 2019 are music (with 61.1 million households being fans) followed by TV & film (60.5 million households).  Closely behind the number 1 and 2 spots are comedy, technology, family, science, health, society & culture, and news & politics, respectively. Podcast industry rankings show that The Daily, published by the New York Times based on the reportings of the day, is the most popular podcast based on UMA (Unique Monthly Audience.)

2.  Having a successful branded podcast is easy
as 1, 2, 3.  

Adweek suggests that 3 key factors can make or break a pod.  The first of these is to really own a topic. The average podcast listener is an educated individual who expects a compelling and an in-depth “behind the curtain” look at the topic that expands beyond the company walls, with industry experts leading a helpful and honest conversation.  Second, use the correct tone of voice—i.e. one that matches the brand’s emotional context and one that stays consistent. Third, invest in audio quality.  Everything else is moot if the production doesn’t reflect the quality of the content. 
3.  Speaking of production value, our client Abrams Artists Agency just launched a killer in-house podcast studio.
With podcasts becoming an increasingly important part of talent branding, Abrams Artists Agency just invested in an in-house podcast studio with state-of-the-art equipment, soundproofing, and a private VIP elevator ensuring that clients have the tools and resources to succeed.  We predict this is going to become a trend, as talent is expected to produce their own material more and more. 
4.  So you wanna start a podcast? Here's the fine print. 
Quartz contributor and Wall Street guru Khe Hy says the time and financial commitments to starting a podcast aren’t to be balked at. For starters, set-up costs for just “middle of the road” technology are around $400. Production costs, including editing, range from $50 -$150 per episode. Variable monthly costs such as a Dropbox subscription and podcast hosting services are around $30.  Time commitment including pre and post-production activity is approx. 10 hours per episode. 
5.  Game of Thrones may be over, but these upcoming podcasts promise to help fill the void.
The most anticipated summer releases offer a myriad of podcasts including Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, which returns for a fourth season and examines the overlooked and misunderstood.  If political scandal is more your thing, Fiasco tackles the 2000 Presidential election and Florida’s infamous recount.  Family Ghosts second season explores family secrets and lineage.  Check this list out for more of 2019’s hottest podcasts thus far.  
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