Podcasts: the overlooked and underutilised resource

A quick look at podcasts, which appears to be a frequently overlooked information resource in the Caribbean, but a powerful marketing channel when done correctly.
Informal polls and anecdotal observations all suggest that podcasts are not especially popular in the Caribbean. Unlike other countries or regions, we appear to have a tiny podcasts listening population, and there may just be a handful of podcasts, if any, being created in the Caribbean.

According to Merriam-Webster, a podcast is “a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet”. Traditionally, it comprised audio only – which could possibly be seen as sacrilege in this day and age when Instagram (photo-driven social network) and YouTube (video streaming) are all the rage – but now some are video-based. However, the unspoken truth is that there is a wealth of entertainment and information, on a broad range of subjects, that is being delivered via podcasts daily.

According to Edison Research, which conducts the Share of Ear study, Americans listen to approximately 21,117,000 hours of podcast audio daily. Further podcasts accounted for the largest share of audio sources consumed by the listening public.

Edison Research Share of Ear Study Fall 2014

Great resources to search for podcasts include: Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Learn out Aloud; and Player.fm. iPod and iPhone users are also able to access and search for podcasts through the standard Podcast app.

Many popular news and online publications, such as the BBC, NPR and Slate, to name a few, also produce podcasts. Also, since most podcasts are audio-based, they are frequently consumed whilst persons multi-task, for example when commuting, or when performing light tasks or chores.

For the podcast creators, the medium is a powerful marketing channel. Through podcasts, their creators have their audience’s exclusive attention. They can: control the content; continue to reinforce their brand; demonstrate their expertise; and be seen to add value.

In 2005, with the launch of iTunes, Steve Jobs had dubbed podcasts “the next generation of Radio”. (Source: The Telegraph). Whilst that statement might still seem to be a bit of a stretch, it is a powerful, and perhaps still under-utilised resource, which we could all benefit from using more.



Image credit: Patrick Breitenbach (flickr)



1 Comment

  • Podcasts are also a useful I C T tool for the classroom to help students understand content.I dont think teachers use it either.

Comments are closed.