By Nick Fernandez

It’s time to start that small business or side hustle.

There are podcasts for everything, but if you’re a small business owner, you probably don’t have time to listen to podcasts like Serial or The Joe Rogan Experience. Thankfully, there are plenty of business podcasts to listen to to gain tips, insights, and advice to improve your productivity or leadership skills.

It’s not always easy to find the best business podcasts on Spotify or other platforms, but we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the best podcasts for business owners and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes!

The best business podcasts


10 Minute MBA

10 minute MBA

Frequency: Daily

Length: 10 minutes

10 Minute MBA — Daily Actionable Business Lessons with Scott D. Clary might have the longest name of any business podcast on our list, but thankfully the episodes themselves are as short as the title implies. This daily podcast is filled with actionable insights, tools, and strategies for business growth. Scott D. Clary is an investor and CEO himself, with a fairly substantial YouTube presence if you want to learn more. But at just 10 minutes, this one is easy to slot into your daily commute or morning routine.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

The BizChix Podcast

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Bizchix podcast

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30 minutes

Most business podcasts are, quite frankly, almost exclusively filled with men. For all the women entrepreneurs out there, Natalie Eckdahl puts out this weekly podcast filled with business training and coaching calls to help you learn everything from team-building techniques to managing work/life balance.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

The Goal Digger podcast

Gold Digger business podcast

Frequency: Twice weekly

Length: 30-60 minutes

The Goal Digger podcast is a great business and marketing resource for entrepreneurs and influencers. Host Jenna Kutcher, a self-made millionaire, shares her own experiences and lessons learned from building a thriving online business. It also features guest experts that offer insights and tips on key topics such as social media, branding, email marketing, and blogging, all essential for online success.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Business Accelerator

Business accelerator podcast

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 60 minutes

When it comes to the best podcasts for small business owners, Business Accelerator is right up there at the top. It’s hosted by father-and-daughter team Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller, and it’s filled with actionable advice on how to become a better and more effective leader. Episodes are released weekly and typically run just under an hour long.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Mind Your Business

Mind your business podcast

Frequency: Twice weekly

Length: 60 minutes

If you listen to podcasts as much as I do, one hour a week just won’t cut it. The Mind Your Business podcast fills that gap with three episodes per week, each running anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. It’s hosted by entrepreneur James Wedmore and his girlfriend, showcasing everything from interviews and case studies to lists of tips, tools, and advice for business owners. It’s mostly focused on digital businesses, but even if you have a shop or restaurant it’s still one of the best business podcasts you can listen to.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Side Hustle School

Side hustle school podcast

Frequency: Daily

Length: 5 minutes

This next one is the best business podcast for anyone who isn’t quite so far along in their entrepreneurial journey. It’s a short, daily podcast that highlights a different person’s side hustle. Usually, these are modest businesses (there’s a series about making your first $1,000), but the podcast is filled with ideas to inspire you to start your own business without having to leave your day job.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

How I Built This with Guy Raz

How I Built This podcast

Frequency: Varies

Length: 45-90 minutes

If you’d rather find out about how the world’s best-known entrepreneurs got started before they made their millions, How I Built This with Guy Raz is worth a listen. It features roughly hour-long interviews that go over the decisions founders made to grow their businesses, often into multinational conglomerates. Will you ever reach this level of success? Probably not. But it’s good to dream.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss show

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 2-3 hours

I’ll be the first to admit that Tim Ferriss often rubs me the wrong way, but there’s no arguing that he gets some of the greatest guests on his podcast. Topics are more focused on lifestyle coaching and productivity hacks for entrepreneurs rather than how to actually run a business, but there are some gems in there. I just wish that Tim would let guests speak more without butting in, and the conversational nature of the podcast means episodes are extremely long.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

BBC Business Daily

BBC Business Daily podcast

Frequency: Daily

Length: 20 minutes

Most of the options on our list so far have had advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs, but the Business Daily podcast from the BBC has a much wider scope. It has stories and insights from business leaders, entrepreneurs, workers, consumers, and experts on various topics such as economics, technology, innovation, and social issues, so you’re getting a different perspective in every episode. As the name implies, episodes are released daily, and run about 20 minutes each.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Planet Money

The Planet Money Podcast logo.

Frequency: Daily

Length: 10 minutes

Any list of podcasts wouldn’t be complete without an NPR podcast, but thankfully Planet Money is one of the most popular and best business podcasts around. Like the BBC podcast above, it’s more focused on the wider economy, but if you want your business to thrive you’ll need to have some idea of what’s going on in the world. It’s also hugely entertaining, with three episodes a week running 20 to 30 minutes each.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Feature Image Credit: Lily Katz/Android Authority

By Nick Fernandez


By J. Clara Chan

An IAB report finds that digital audio — defined as podcasts and streaming for music and radio — had the largest year-over-year growth rate compared to streaming video and social media advertising.

Podcasts and streaming for music and radio has seen the largest growth in ad revenue, hitting a total of $4.9 billion in revenue during 2021, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau released Tuesday.

With a nearly 58 percent year-over-year growth in ad revenue — up from 13 percent the previous year — the digital audio category outpaced streaming video, social media, search and display advertising growth during 2021, the report found.

The majority of growth in the digital audio category came from mobile devices, which brought in $4.1 billion in ad revenue and accounted for 85 percent of the category’s total revenue. Revenue on desktop devices for digital audio paled in comparison at $739 million, the report said.

But in terms of total dollars, search continued to drive the most revenue for the year at $78.3 billion, followed by display advertising at $56.7 billion. Digital video was the third-largest ad revenue driver, bringing in nearly $40 billion in 2021, representing a 51 percent year-over-year growth.

The report also found that social media advertising was able to recover from some of the decline seen in 2020 at the start of the pandemic to bring in a total of $57.7 billion last year. But companies like Facebook parent Meta and Snap are continuing to contend with revenue declines caused by Apple’s iOS privacy changes, which went into effect last year and allow users to opt out of tracking, the impact of which may not be fully seen until later this year.

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Source: IAB / PwC Internet Ad Revenue Report, FY 2021 IAB / PwC

Sourced from The Hollywood Reporter

By Elissaveta M. Brandon

Get the creative juices flowing with podcasts on circular design, UX, and a lot more.

The long commute may have been cut short for many of us, but the time Americans spend listening to podcasts is at an all-time high. So is the number of podcasts. With over 2 million to choose from, this is no easy task for those, like me, who want to know everything there is to know, especially when it comes to design. So, here’s a curated list of nine podcasts to get the creative juices flowing. May it help you become better, more creative, and more inspired—whether you’re a designer, or just want to think like one.

Circular with Katie Treggiden

British design writer Katie Treggiden has been championing circular design for years. This is her podcast, in which she explores the intersection of craft, design, and sustainability through interviews with thinkers, doers, and makers of the circular economy. Expect to learn about the culture of mending, modern furniture restoration, and even dying clothes using food waste.

Design Review

This one is for the UX design geeks out there. Every other week, two designers—Chris Liu and Jonathan Shariat—discuss one design principle and connect it to their own experience in the field. From devious dark patterns to the Ikea effect to designing for peace of mind, the scope will surprise you, even if you’re not a UX designer.

Scratching the Surface

Design meets theory meets practice. Hosted by Jarrett Fuller, a designer, writer and educator, whose MFA thesis led to the creation of this podcast, each episode features wide-ranging conversations about the role of design in shaping culture. Expect insightful interviews with a who’s who of design voices, including New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli, and Dori Tunstall, a design anthropologist and the dean of design at Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Design Matters

Design Matters is one of the first and longest-running podcasts dedicated to design. For 15 years, Debbie Millman’s interviewing style has brought out the best in her guests, from Milton Glaser—the master designer of the I ♥ NY logo—to pastry chef and Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi. The takeaway? Design Matters . . . matters.

Design Lab with Bon Ku

The pandemic has brought to our attention just how interlinked design and health are. This is where this podcast fits in. Launched in September 2020 by physician and host Bon Ku, Design Lab has grown into a popular show about how design can help us live better, with topics that range from designing for equity to designing childbirth.

Material Matters with Grant Gibson

Many designers, makers, and artists have a special relationship with a particular material. This is a podcast about that bond, and about how certain craft skills or materials can shape an entire career. Hosted by design writer and critic Grant Gibson, the show features in-depth interviews with a variety of creatives, such as architect Sarah Wigglesworth on building with straw, and designer Tom Dixon on welding.

Design Thinking 101

What is design thinking and how can you apply it to your goals and challenges? The host is Dawan Stanford, who teaches design thinking at Elon University. Every episode explores different ways to learn from challenges—like designing for trauma and vulnerable populations—and overcome them by applying design thinking and related innovation approaches. Tune in, and you’ll hear an array of stories, lessons, ideas, and resources from guests in fields as varied as business, education, government, and healthcare.

The Design of Business

This podcast from Design Observer runs the gamut. Each show brings in people from a range of industries, from music and retail to technology. There’s the global executive creative director at Coursera. The lead costume designer for the Netflix series Bridgerton. And the president of the Rhode Island School of Design. All of them are creative professionals, yet each of them uses creativity in different ways. 

99% Invisible

Bad design stands out like a sore thumb; good design goes unnoticed. That’s the premise of this podcast, hosted by Roman Mars. From the surprising history of curb cuts to the dangers of a one-size-fits-all culture, the show explores the way design pervades every aspect of modern life, and the takeaways will stay with you for months, if not years.

Feature Image Credit: iStock

By Elissaveta M. Brandon

Sourced from FastCompany

By Nicholas Quah

I’d like to begin by articulating an assumption I know I’m not alone in holding: for a good stretch of its existence, podcasting has often come across as a distinctly liberal-leaning media space.

There are a number of reasons for this. Some of it has to do with the prominent successes that public radio and various journalistic organizations — typically thought about as liberal institutions, unfairly and otherwise — have historically had crossing over into the medium. Part of this might also have to do with the head-turning emergence of successful left-leaning and leftist presences that have used open podcasting as a foundation for their media businesses, as in the case of Crooked Media and the cluster of pods loosely known as the Dirtbag Left. I’m sure there are other reasons of note, but point is, it’s an impression that has solidified into an informal identity, one that has persisted for a good while.

Now, you can attack this historical assumption from a few directions. Perhaps the biggest one lies in the fact that you could simply point to the presence of Joe Rogan and Dan Carlin — both of whom possess politics that can be fairly hard to describe, but typically run counter to the dominant strings of liberal politics — as being prominent figureheads of the medium dating far back to its earlier pre-Serial era. But for the most part, the interpretation of podcasting being distinctly liberal-leaning is more true than not, especially if you think about the majority of the successes that have broken through from within the medium over the past decade or so.

At any rate, while that reading may have held historically, we seem to be reaching a point where that interpretation may no longer necessarily stand.

This case begins with a tenuous but nevertheless significant data point. If you were to scan the Apple Podcast charts today, you’d find that a tremendous proportion of the shows occupying the Top 200 spots are explicitly right-wing podcasts. Here’s a non-comprehensive list, as of Monday evening: The Dan Bongino Show, The Ben Shapiro Show, The Mark Levin Podcast, The Charlie Kirk Show, The Candace Owens Show, The Glenn Beck Program, Louder With Crowder, The Daily Wire’s Enough, The Sean Hannity Show, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Michael Knowles Show, The Rubin Report, and whatever that Bill O’Reilly podcast is called. That accounting doesn’t even include shows by sitting Republican politicians, like Verdict With Ted Cruz and Hold These Truths With Dan Crenshaw, which are technically counterparts in the politician pod trend I wrote about a few weeks ago.

(Additionally, you could theoretically sort the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web” libertarian types into this mix: the Joe Rogans and Jordan Petersons and so on. But I’m inclined to bracket them out as a separate species of show, since they collectively make up a significantly different kind of political phenomenon at this point in time.)

Anyway, this data point is tenuous because it’s always important to point out the deep imperfections of using the Apple Podcast charts as a representation of the podcast ecosystem. As we’ve banged the drum several times before, performance on the Apple Podcast charts shouldn’t be read as an indicator of a given show’s listenership relative to each other, but as a kind of “heat” indicator that prizes what some in the business call “subscriber velocity” — that is, the novel engagements that a podcast experiences on the platform. (There’s a way you can think about the charts as being somewhat similar to YouTube and social media platforms, in the sense that they reward fresh engagement as the leading metric. In any case, like many algorithmically-driven artifacts, how Apple determines placement on its podcast charts is largely a black box affair, subject to long and voluminous debate.) Put simply, a show can rank highly on the Apple Podcast charts across a considerable number of weeks but ultimately reaches fewer people compared to a show that’s larger and older but is currently sitting somewhere in the basement of the charts.

It’s also worth noting that the Apple Podcast chart is also vulnerable to scam campaigns, in that it’s possible for certain bad actors to engage in pay-for-placements schemes where automated scripts are used to simulate engagement with specific podcasts at high volumes. Such schemes are meant to help drive newer shows up the charts, where their high placement gets them exponentially greater visibility, which in turns leads them to potentially generate organic growth. (We ran an experiment to illustrate such a bot campaign a few years ago.)

All of this is really wonky discussion, I know, but I’m setting all this foundation down to push the point: while the Apple Podcast charts shouldn’t be taken at their word, I think the sheer volume and consistency of right-wing shows that currently populates the charts tells us something quite real. Furthermore, according to data made available by Chartable, a podcast analytics and attribution company that tracks Apple Podcast chart positions as part of its services, some of those shows have been charting effectively for the past two years or so. An even smaller number has been charting effectively since the start of the Trump presidency.

Even more curious, digging through the data a little further, is the fact that many of these shows  have noticeably improved their chart standings over the past few months, and significantly so in the weeks since Election Day. (The fine folks at Chartable also noted that there doesn’t seem to be any red flags suggesting that paid-for-placements scams were involved in the chart performance of these shows.)

Here are three examples to illustrate the finding. The Mark Levin Show has spent much of the past year charting between the 70-100 and 100-150 range, depending on the month. About a week after Election Day, the show’s positioning markedly improved, and it currently hovers fairly consistently around tenth spot. The Ben Shapiro Show, which started out as a podcast before being simultaneously repackaged as a radio broadcast in 2018, has always charted fairly well, rarely dropping below the tenth spot throughout 2020. Over the past few months, it’s averaged placements around the 4-7 spot. Meanwhile, The Dan Bongino Show, which features a host that’s become confoundingly prominent enough on digital spheres to warrant his own inquiring New York Times profile by Kevin Roose, largely fluttered back and forth within the 20-40 spots for much of the year. Since Election Day, however, the podcast broke into the top ten spots, and currently averages at the top two spots.

Again, performance on the Apple Podcast charts is a wildly imperfect metric, and it shouldn’t be taken as materially equivalent to, say, box office returns or the New York Times Best Seller List. (Though, my understanding is that the latter is also controversial in some circles.) Nevertheless, the Apple Podcast charts is one of the most visible and powerful real estates in all podcasting, and the consistency of their chart placements does represent the existence of a trend. Placement is power, and I believe that, very quietly and then seemingly all at once, right-wing podcasts have carved out a strong presence in the ecosystem.

So, I picked The Mark Levin Show, The Ben Shapiro Show, and The Dan Bongino Show as representative examples for another reason: all three podcasts are repped for sales and distribution by Westwood One, the Cumulus Media-owned radio group that’s been working to build out a podcast business over the past few years. (Further context for more specificity: The Ben Shapiro Show is officially listed as being distributed by The Daily Wire, but The Daily Wire is repped for sales by Westwood One.)

You can find network-wide download numbers for Westwood One’s portfolio on the Podtrac rankers, which, similarly, should be understood as imperfect representations of the podcast space themselves. (See here and here.) But they do give us a decent shot at some understanding of reach. The numbers for Westwood One’s portfolio are fairly hard to parse out: it’s officially listed at reaching 6,236,000 unique monthly US listeners through its whopping 132 show portfolio. Somewhere in that spread is The Dan Bongino Show and The Mark Levin Show. However, The Daily Wire is spun out as its own publisher in the ranker, and the official number there is objectively sizable: the network is said to reach 5,546,000 unique monthly listeners off only five shows, one of which is, of course, The Ben Shapiro Show. It’s safe to assume, then, that The Ben Shapiro Show reaches well above a million unique US monthly listeners a month at the very least.

Let’s now turn to the explanatory question: how did these right-wing shows break through the podcast ecosystem? Any meaningful answer requires serious appraisal of multiple overlapping factors, but my impression is that it can largely be pegged to two things. Firstly, these shows work with insane volume. They often publish new episodes every weekday, occasionally on the weekends, and they rarely miss beat. Secondly, I think a big, big part of this has to do with how right-wing podcasting nowadays seems purposefully integrated with the broader right-wing infrastructures, and are themselves individual assets of much larger multi-platform presences. This notion was pushed forward prominently in a conversation I had recently with a senior figure at Westwood One, who pointed to the way someone like Dan Bongino consistently shepherds attention between his multiple media outputs, from his broadcast radio show to his social media feeds to his podcasts to his various media appearances. It’s an aggressive flood the zone approach, where gains from each individual piece directly pipes into supporting another. This approach extends down the line: in 2018, Westwood One started repackaging The Ben Shapiro Show for broadcast radio distribution, while The Mark Levin Show podcast is a repackage of a broadcast radio program.

There is also the matter of how the content itself tends to simply be fuel for fiery responses, amplified and in service to a charged polarized environment, like a snake that eats its tail to only grow eternally fatter. During that conversation, I also took the opportunity to ask about the company’s stance on the speech of the shows it represents. After all, in the wake of the elections, The Dan Bongino Show was hyperactive in promoting several baseless allegations and debunked conspiracy theories claiming election fraud. The response was a minor dodge. “We have a very, very strong policy on content,” came the reply. “We feel strongly that we have the ability to uphold the truth.”

Ultimately, this feels like an expression of the inevitable endgame for all emergent technologies. Something new comes around, catches fire, attention, and then investment, eventually leading to a place where the old guard comes in and synthesizes the whole thing. In this case, it’s old right-wing talk radio making its way into new podcasting, finding new blood as a foothold, building a bridge between the two sides. We’ve seen it with news organizations like the New York Times and NPR, and so it’s unsurprising that we’re seeing it with ever-present conservative talk radio. One wonders what this foretells for the explicitly left-leaning types — what would such a synthesis look like for Crooked Media?

Quick thing… Apple Podcasts has rolled out a new web embed player feature, which has been a long time coming for the dominant podcast distribution platform.

iHeartMedia strikes multiyear creative partnership with Cloud10, the Los Angeles-based podcast network and production studio founded by Sim Sarna. Cloud10 is known for building out a portfolio of distinctly celebrity-driven shows like Work in Progress with Sophia Bush, Minor Adventures with Topher Grace, and Busy Phillips is Doing Her Best, and the studio itself comes out of Sarna’s success in being part of creating the popular Anna Faris is Unqualified podcast.

There can be a bit of variation when it comes to deals like this, so I thought it might be useful to unpack it a little further. This deal, which spans two years, primarily revolves around iHeartMedia funding and distributing new shows from Cloud10, often with minimum guarantees. (Not unlike how book contracts are structured, revenues would go to iHeartMedia until it recoups the guarantee and production budget before switching to an agreed upon rev split.) Cloud10 will maintain its existing sales team than handles direct response advertising, but this partnership will also see iHeartMedia supporting the network’s sales efforts around brand and programmatic marketplace-based advertising.

As part of the deal, existing Cloud10 shows will become part of the iHeartMedia portfolio, and can be subject to measurement by Podtrac. Those shows will also be privy to being promoted on iHeartMedia’s unsold inventory.

The two companies will also be closely collaborating on that future program development process, and while specific details on upcoming projects will only be announced early next year, I’m told that the deal will likely result in ten or more new shows through the end of 2021.

This Cloud10 partnership is the latest addition to iHeartMedia’s recent flurry of dealmaking activities in the podcast space. Last week, the broadcast radio incumbent announced a sales and production partnership with Pushkin Industries, a deal that comes not long after news that it’s launching a new podcast network with Charlamagne Tha God, called Black Effect. In late October, the corporation made official its intent to acquire the Voxnest platform, thought to be part of its push into programming podcast advertising.

These podcast activities also come as iHeartMedia continues its waves of layoffs chiefly targeting its broadcast radio markets, and as the FCC approves the company’s petition to increase its foreign ownership cap such that it’s able to take on more non-American capital as part of its efforts to navigate its state of post-bankruptcy.

Podfund changes hands. Podfund, the slightly-hard-to-explain company that invests in podcast creators with creator-friendly terms, is now managed by TechNexus, a significantly more straightforward tech investment firm.

According to a Medium post by Andrew Annacone, who now takes over as President of Podfund, the intent is to build on Podfund’s original model while expanding out to tackle investments that are deeper into the “intersection of content and technology.” We’ll see what that shakes out to be.

Podfund was founded last summer by Jake Shapiro, who was already serving as the CEO and co-founder of RadioPublic. Shapiro left both teams when he joined the Apple Podcasts team as the Head of Creative Partnerships in September. Nicola Korzenko, the general manager of Podfund, also left the company in September to rejoin Amazon, where she now works in content acquisition for Prime Video channels.

In tomorrow’s Servant of Pod Lauren Shippen is on the show this week.

Back in 2015, she created a fiction podcast called The Bright Sessions, which went on to carve out a strong following and community online, and several years later, she would become one of the busiest creators in the podcast business, in large part owing to the strength of that original production that she worked to pull together on her own dime.

In many ways, Lauren’s career so far is the kind of stuff that podcasting should be able to offer a wide number of people — coming out of nowhere, with no real credits to their name — if the ecosystem is working the way it should. It’s unclear to me whether we’ve drifted away from that kind of possibility now, and part of why I wanted to interview Lauren about her arc to this point is get a better sense of this question. We also talk about a bunch of other stuff as well, like Stephen Sondheim and her dream to make a queer cowboy rom-com, which would rule.

You can find Servant of Pod on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the great assortment of third-party podcast apps that are hooked up to the open publishing ecosystem. Desktop listening is also recommended. Share, leave a review, so on.

Who Are Audiograms For?

By Caroline Crampton

Last week, my eye was caught by a press release about a newly formed partnership between Bitcast, an iOS podcast clip sharing app Bitcast, and Podcast Notes, a website that summarizes podcasts. The story used phrases like “a new paradigm in social audio” and “podcast clips emerge as an incredibly powerful new medium” — market cliches that were pompous, and still yet largely unproven.

Now, I don’t think this development is especially significant in and of itself: such peripheral startup activity has become the norm in the audio world. What gave me pause, though, was the fact that the press release made me realise that I hadn’t ever seriously interrogated the idea of whether “audio clips” have a meaningful role to play in the way that podcasts are discovered and disseminated in the first place.

Over the years, I’ve seen podcasters sharing short sections of podcast episodes on social media, whether via a clip feature within a podcatcher or as a custom made subtitled video. I’ve participated in this practice myself, having even installed WNYC’s audiogram generator from 2016 on my PC when I worked as an in house producer at a magazine in a previous life.

That tool dated from an earlier era — post Serial, pre consolidation — when the so-called “podcast discovery problem” was high up the agenda for shows big and small. It was also the time of the wider media’s (ultimately disastrous) pivot to video, something that was expressed in the documentation for that WNYC tool, which promised to turn audio into video, the “first-class citizen of social media.” At that time, it felt to me like everyone was on the hunt for that silver bullet, one easy implementation that would send download numbers rocketing upwards. The idea of making a longer piece of audio easily visible and shareable seemed perfect for that moment.

Where do things stand today, then, now that the promised land of video has dematerialised and there are so many more big players spending money in podcasting? Some podcatchers, such as Overcast, Castro, and Listen Notes, have inbuilt podcast clip sharing features nowadays, meaning that listeners are able to pick a short moment and publicise it on their accounts. There are also other established services like Headliner and Wavve, explicitly aimed at podcasters wanting to create their own clip assets for marketing purposes. And then there are “social audio” apps like the aforementioned Bitcast that seek to build a brand around the exchange of clips specifically.

Of these three approaches to the audio clip space, it’s the second one that feels to me like it has the most mileage for podcasters. When researching this piece, I found it very difficult to find any independent data on whether the subtitled audio-as-video clips created by tools like Headliner or Wavve actually led to positive impacts on a podcast’s listenership — it’s just seems not to be information that anyone is collecting in a comprehensive way. There are some slight indicators out there, though, which seem to show at least that social networks’ algorithms react positively to the posting of clips.

Back in 2016, Delaney Simmons, then the director of social media at WNYC, revealed that the “audiogram” clip tool was showing some very positive results for their shows. “On Twitter, the average engagement for an audiogram is 8x higher than a non-audiogram tweet and on Facebook some of our shows are seeing audiogram reach outperform photos and links by 58% and 83% respectively,” she wrote in an August 2016 Medium post about the tool. Obviously, that’s just from one publisher’s perspective and impossible to verify externally, but it does seem to track with the way social networks handled posts including video at the time.

For a more contemporary view of this question, I spoke to Oliver Wellington, founder of Headliner, over email. His team does some A/B testing of different clip formats and styles and share their results on their blog. Perhaps unsurprisingly for in-house research, the results come back pretty positive. “In some of the tests, video has outperformed static images by five times,” Wellington said. “We also ran a survey asking users to report how much Headliner videos have increased their listenership. We got 415 responses, with over 70 per cent of respondents saying Headliner-made videos had helped increase listenership by between one and two times.”

Since WNYC’s tool launched in 2016, Twitter has rolled out the ability to share audio in a post to some iOS users — the “voice tweets” feature was launched in June 2020 and enabled for more users in September. As a podcast marketing option, though, it has yet to take off, and Facebook remains in much the same place regarding adding audio to posts. This is why video clips are necessary, Wellington argued. As a medium, podcasting is at a disadvantage on social media,” he said.  “With a video clip, podcasters are now able to level the playing field and meet listeners where they are, on any social network.”

Both when I was making podcasts for a big magazine and now that I do it by myself, I’ve personally always found that the time investment necessary to make decent-sounding audio clips never seemed to match up with the return. In other words, “make clips” is always on my production to do list, but it almost never gets crossed off.

This is a common problem, according to Wellington, who has apparently seen plenty of podcasters “trying video once or twice and giving up because the initial video or two didn’t perform well.” He added: “Social media is a constant stream of information and posts, you need to put a bunch of stuff out there to figure out what will work, and this can take time.” He recommends trying lots of different clip styles and formats to see what works for your audience.

Lisa Jozi, a producer who has been responsible for making audio clips at big publishers like the Guardian and Al Jazeera as well as for her own podcast, told me that she remains somewhat sceptical of the power of these assets to translate into actual downloads. “To be honest, I’ve never seen them push traffic from social to the actual piece of content in any meaningful way,” she said over email. “Even if the clips did well on social, the click through to the actual piece was tiny.  For brands that are conscious of numbers/reach, you could collect easy views on these shorter clips to make your overall audience look bigger.”

They’re better viewed as a brand awareness option, she felt, rather than something that directly translates into more listeners. Which “should make you think carefully about why you want them and how much time you’re willing to spend doing it.” Another producer who got in touch with me about this issue, Charles Commins of the Northampton Town FC podcast It’s All Cobblers To Me expressed a similar view, although he sees a value in the clips he makes beyond just as a means to push downloads.

“I’m a big fan of repurposing as a way of reaching as many people as possible. I use audiograms to create a kind of trailer for each individual episode,” he said. “While I can’t say that the audiograms definitely increase my download stats, they do get the podcast more visibility on social media. The idea is that if more people see it, more people will listen.”

While I was looking into this topic, it didn’t escape my notice that it’s often podcasters with smaller shows that are preoccupied with the efficacy of these clips. Or, to put it another way: there are some pretty big shows out there that, to my knowledge, have never posted one. Publishers with social media teams may like them as an additional social marketing tool, and if smaller operations enjoy having them, then it’s up to them to decide whether they’re worth the resources. I felt Lisa Jozi summed this up well:

If you want them as a part of a look and feel for your podcast brand online, fantastic. They can make you look more professional as a part of a cohesive social media strategy. If you’re labouring over them in the hope that people will click through to the episode and listen to the whole thing, give them a miss.

As with many of the marketing techniques pushed at podcasters with smaller audiences, social audio clips can suck up a not inconsiderable time that could have been spent on the show itself. After all, sometimes the best podcast marketing tool is making a really good episode in the first place.

Another Local-National Bundle to Watch

Here’s a technical experiment that caught my attention recently. For about a week and a half starting on Election Day, the Washington Post ran automated AI-powered audio updates reporting local and national election results at the top of episodes from three of its podcasts: Post Reports, Can He Do That?, and The Daily 202’s Big Idea.

Think of these updates as a kind of audio ticker tape that came bundled with episodes of those podcasts as they were downloaded during the immediate post-election period. As a listener, you essentially experience them as a variation on the pre-roll spot, in which a mechanical — though female — voice reads out the latest real-time results from both the presidential race as well as races that were local to your area. The spots were short and punchy, typically clocking in at around a minute or so.

This dynamically-inserted election update project was the latest effort from the Post’s Strategic Initiatives team, which focuses on using emerging technologies to explore experimental storytelling approaches in order to reach more people. Past projects have included efforts around virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificially intelligent automation.

Audio was always an area they were interested in, as Elite Truong, the recently-appointed director of strategic initiatives who oversaw the project, told me last week. “The main question for us was: how do we provide more of a service through audio — whether it’s through podcasts or audio embeds on web pages?” she said. “How do we make that more accessible?”

The project was primarily powered by an in-house product called Heliograf which Truong describes as a cluster of machine-learning algorithms built to process high volumes of data from various APIs and convert them into information-rich scripts that can be edited down into publishable journalism. When the tech was used to cover DC-area high school football games every week back in 2017, Jeremy Gilbert, Truong’s predecessor, said that the technology was “creating a new model for hyperlocal coverage.”

This isn’t the first presidential cycle in which Heliograf was used to automate the Post’s local race coverage. In 2016, the Post tested it out to track results for 500 races around the country, and in this cycle, that number of covered races was greatly expanded. The idea to try delivering those race results through the Post’s existing podcast products, Truong tells me, came out of an impulse to serve those results to audiences where they already are.

The actual deployment of those audio updates depended on a mix of new and old technology. The new being the combination of Heliograf-generated results with text-to-speech automation tools, and the old being the manipulation of dynamic ad insertion solutions to deliver those generated audio update reads to listeners based on their geographic location. There’s a touch of the familiar to this particular composition of tools and ideas: between the bundling of local content with fundamentally national products, the general thinking of meeting audiences where they are, and the use of ad tech as means to those ends, this Washington Post experiment sounds like NPR’s recent announcement that it will start shipping episodes of its daily afternoon podcasts, Consider This, with dynamically-inserted local news segments from select cities.

Two doesn’t necessarily make a trend, but it’s a start, and I really do hope to see more podcast teams dip their toes into this whole local-national bundle thing. There’s a ton of service (and entrepreneurial!) potential in this lane. I’d also be curious to see what other audio experiments that the Post will come up with once the dust settles around this election project.

But that might have to wait. The automated audio update only ended last Friday, and Truong’s team has yet to fully debrief on the findings. That said, she notes that, at this point, there seemed to be very few reports of failed local results deliveries, which is a very encouraging data point. It might be enough to greatly expand the program.

“I want to put this everywhere,” she said

Feature Image Credit: Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino. Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images and Susan Walsh/AP/Shutterstock

By Nicholas Quah

[email protected]

Sourced from Vulture

By .

Even though they have to compete with other well established content delivery platforms such as videos and blogs, podcasts have made a name and place for themselves.

The Google 2019 update also tipped the scales further in podcast’s favor by enabling them to show up in search engines. Indexing of podcasts will help show audio content directly in search engines for users to consume.

Let us look in detail at what exactly podcast SEO is and how to go about this rapidly growing platform.

Why do podcasts need SEO?

Before we go ahead, it is safe to say that your content needs to be top-notch if you ever stand a chance to rank in search engines. No amount of SEO can come to the rescue if your content is not worth it.

Ever since the Google update, podcast SEO simply means you can reach out to audiences who have never heard of you before. In fact, people who are not specifically searching for a podcast can turn up at your podcast if it satisfies the intent with which the user was searching.


Podcasts are widely used to advertise and market products/services nowadays. As more people consume podcasts, it is becoming extremely necessary to understand and take appropriate action to get your podcasts to rank in searches.

I will cover podcast SEO in two major parts: SEO for podcasts and SEO for podcast episodes.

SEO for podcasts

#1. Focus keyword

You need to decide and then focus on the keyword with which users will look up for your podcast on Google. If your niche is super competitive and filled with podcasts already, go for long-form keywords satisfying the search intent of users.

For example, going for “how to brew a coffee at home” rather than “brew coffee” will significantly improve search queries.

#2. Podcast title

This is where you describe what your podcast is about. Your focus keyword needs to be a part of your podcast title. More importantly, your title should clearly tell the user what the podcast is about. This will only help Google to better place your podcast in search results.

If your podcast title is not clearly telling the audience what it is about, try going in for a subtitle. This will have a major impact on the ranking of the podcast as Google will know what it is about and can throw it up on appropriate results.

#3. Podcast description

Podcast metadata is super important from an SEO point of view. Not only Google but podcast platform searches such as Spotify and Apple use this metadata to better understand the context of your podcasts. This helps you rank in searches and therefore it is important to optimize.

Use your focus keyword a minimum of ONCE as keyword stuffing will only attract a negative penalty. Clearly describe what the podcast is for so it is easier for search engines to recommend when a user searches for your focus keyword.

#4. Converting to a blog post

Every time you release an episode of your podcast, release the transcript as a blog post. Also, ensure your blog post links back to the original episode. This is great for SEO. It not only helps to significantly increase the authority of your website which in turn will favor your podcast in the long run, but it also allows your podcasts to be looked up by users searching through different mediums.

If you need help converting the transcript to a blog post, you can quickly try out Wavve which will transcribe your podcast audio to a post on its own. Though Google is transcribing your episodes, it is still a developing system and will be some time till it perfects it. This is the reason why having your transcripts covered by a tool is highly recommended.


SEO for podcast episodes

#1. Episode metrics

Once your target keyword for the episode is finalized, you need to optimize your episode around it. Each episode should have its own unique keyword as individual search results can now show your podcasts in the results.

Your episode keyword should be used in the episode title and description as it is. The title and description should convey clearly what the episode is going to talk about so users know what they are going to get out of it.

Try out Google Keyword Planner to figure out keywords around your topic for the best results.

#2. Saying your keyword

Just as on YouTube, saying your target keyword actually helps to optimize your content. Search engines listen to your content to decide if it is the best fit for a particular search term. Try to optimize your content around your keyword synonyms throughout the episode for the best results.

#3. Episode transcript

Google scans written documents far easier than any other media today. So, it’s worth it to have a transcription of your podcast. Though Google has started automatically to transcribe your podcast, it still is best to submit your own as explained before. This helps the search engine to properly understand the context of your podcast.


#4. Promotion

Engagement on social media with your content is as important as any other point here. You need to promote your podcasts on all your social media channels to ensure there is maximum exposure and eventual engagement with target viewers. There is a direct correlation between engagement on social media and search engine rankings.


#5. Google Podcasts

Adding your podcast to Google Podcasts will greatly enhance its SEO. It will help Google to show audio snippets from your podcasts and also help you monitor rankings to further optimize your content accordingly.

Podcasts – The arrival of the future

For a long time, podcasts were deemed to be the future of content consumption. Well, the future is truly here now. Not only have podcast listeners grown 37.5% in the last three years, there is a whopping 70% increase in active podcasts in the last two years.

It is safe to assume that the trend is only going to go up and as a marketer, entrepreneur, or business owner, you can not avoid or overlook podcasts anymore.

Thanks to Google, podcasts have started reaching audiences which were never possible before and that is why podcast SEO is a game changer today.

Try out the above-mentioned tips for your podcasts and share the results with us!


Guest author: Aakash Singh is a marketing professional & a content marketing specialist. Having over 5 years of experience working with major organizations, he is passionate about digital marketing, blogging & SEO. Aakash lives in Delhi, India & writes about digital marketing & scaling your online presence on his blog, cupofglory.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Sourced from Jeff Bullas

By Susan Gilbert

Today I have some branding strategies to help you create more visibility and increase your brand reputation. Here’s four links with tips and tricks to kick start your work week.

Establishing your business as a leader in our industry takes time and cultivation through the right relationships and marketing methods. Using the strategies can help you connect more with your audience and influencers. There are several ways to help you focus your efforts and improve awareness. Take advantage of these ideas, and let me know how these work for you!

1 – Go beyond online marketing

Build a wider audience through offline marketing. With this strategy your business can reach interested prospects by being active and engaged with them at places like industry trade shows, concerts, book signings, and more. By making a personal connection you can create a memorable experience that will translate into your online properties as well.

2 – Create trust in your community

People who trust your business enough will the spread the word online and offline. This is free advertising for your company that can have a continual payoff. As you build relationships within your niche through methods such as exclusive events, live video, and Twitter chats your customers will have an opportunity to share their experiences. As you take a positive, and encouraging approach with a high value offer you will begin to see your products or services being recommended by others online.

3 – Leverage influencer marketing

Make an action plan to connect with leaders in your industry. This will open the doors for guest blogging opportunities and recommendations that can help bring more visitors to your website and social networks. Engage on places like LinkedIn, Medium, and other blogs to attract more brand followers. After establishing your expertise and authority it won’t be long before your business or name is recommend on authority websites.

4 – Podcasts and video marketing

Would you like people to find your brand online quickly? This is a powerful and popular way to bring interested prospects into your business, provide a how-to segment, or showcase an expert interview. Hosting a podcast or uploading videos to YouTube are effective with both live and pre-recorded methods.

Hopefully you will find these brand reputation methods useful to your online strategy. Are there any that you would like to add as well?

Have fun with these tips and tools.

By Susan Gilbert


By John Hall.

According to the IAB Podcast Advertising Revenue Study conducted by PwC, podcasting is growing. Why? Because it offers a more personal and authentic way to engage audiences and is tailor-made for the modern listener who is on the go and eager to learn.

If you’re like the average American, you probably spend just under 4 hours each day consuming audio, and there’s a 50 percent chance you’re a fan of at least one podcast already.

With this kind of growth comes plenty of opportunity to learn and enjoy content, but it doesn’t come without a little bit of chaos. It seems like people launch new podcasts every day. How can you pick the right one for you?

That depends on what you want to learn and who you want to learn from, whether it’s the podcast host who offers inspiration or the guest who shares his or her stories, lessons, and advice.

With marketing trends consistently reshaping the landscape and growing demands for marketing leaders to be both subject matter experts and experts in leadership, CMOs and other marketing professionals are in a unique position. They need the right blend of tactical marketing advice and inspirational leadership guidance to help them do their best work.

There’s a podcast for basically everything now, but it’s important to find the right ones and create a playlist that will help you develop the top skills you need to be a successful marketer. Here are five podcasts you might want to tune into:

1. For experience, listen to “CMO Moves” with Nadine Dietz.

Recently released, this podcast promises to be a good one for everyone’s playlist. With an impressive roster of CMOs from GE, Spotify, HP, Target, Walmart, Mastercard, Verizon, and more, there’s no shortage of expert advice for marketers at any stage of their career.

What makes this podcast especially unique is its format — unscripted and authentic. It’s all about the real people behind the success, who share their failures, advice, inspirations, and personal stories of how they got to lead some of the world’s biggest brands.

2. For inspiration, listen to “TED Talks Daily” by TED.

This podcast is the audio version of the world-famous TED Talks series, and it’s packed full of inspiration and stories on a wide range of topics, from AI to healthcare to the environment to animal science and literally everything in between. If you’ve ever watched a TED Talk and wanted a way to listen to the stories and ideas without having to sit in front of your screen, then add this to your playlist.

Sure, this isn’t a marketing-specific podcast. But the diversity in topics here is awesome and will help you think about new ideas and solutions that may never have occurred to you before.

3. For growth, listen to “How I Built This with Guy Raz” from NPR.

Ever wonder about the stories behind brands and organizations like BuzzFeed, Starbucks, Teach For America, or Lyft? This podcast explores the stories of leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators on their journeys to building and growing their companies, and you get to hear it directly from the people themselves.

“How I Built This” discusses how ideas are transformed into successful companies. If you’re looking to start a new initiative or grow your current company, then this podcast is for you.

4. For media muscle, listen to “The GaryVee Audio Experience” with Gary Vaynerchuk.

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the best-known marketing influencers out there, and he’s notoriously no-BS. If you’re looking to dive deep into media trends, tactics, and solutions to up your marketing game, then this is a good start. “GaryVee” covers a diverse mix of topics, guests, and insights to help listeners learn more about all things marketing.

5. For innovation, listen to “CIO Network” by CIO Talk Network.

Marketing leaders don’t just work within their own departments. They have to work alongside other C-suite members and experts across the company, from sales to production to IT to client service and just about every other team.

Sometimes that requires getting out of your own marketing bubble and stepping into the shoes of others in your company, and “CIO Network” is one way to do that. It includes a broad array of great innovation podcasts that are geared toward the CIO but are also helpful to marketers in understanding and engaging other decision makers.

So, if you’re a marketing leader who’s looking for a simple, engaging way to learn a little bit and tap into a growing medium that spreads thought leadership, insight, and education, you should check out these podcasts.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

By John Hall

CEO and co-founder, Influence & Co.

Sourced from Inc.