Is podcasting in your organization’s future?

Nationally, podcasts may not be ubiquitous, but their popularity is rising. A 2016 report from Edison Research, in conjunction with Triton, showed that monthly podcast listenership has increased 75 percent since 2013.

The study showed that 21 percent of Americans ages 12 and up have listened to a podcast in the last month—57 million Americans in total. That’s the same percentage of Americans who use Twitter (although Twitter has more members, it has the same number of active users).

More proof that podcasting is worth your attention? Consider:

  • One-third (33 percent) of Americans now say they have listened to at least one podcast (Edison Research).
  • Awareness of podcasting among Americans 12 years of age and older, now at 49 percent, has more than doubled since 2006, when Nielsen measured it at 22 percent.
  • Advertisers have taken notice of this rise in popularity and have started funneling dollars into this space. In 2016, U.S. advertisers spent an estimated $35 million on podcast ads, according to ZenithOptimedia.

The Impact of Mobile

One of the factors impacting the rise of podcasting is our increasing use of mobile devices. In 2015, 55 percent of respondents in the Edison study who had ever listened to a podcast reported listening most often on mobile. By 2016, it had risen to 64 percent.

The increase in digital media consumption on mobile, as well as the increasing number of podcasts available, has made it far more attractive to both listeners and advertisers.

It used to be that consuming podcasts was a complex task. You’d have to dock and sync your device with iTunes after subscribing to the podcasts you liked.

However, as devices have advanced and broadband connections have become commonplace, streaming podcasts has become the norm.

And in order to save time and multi-task even more efficiently, some folks even listen to podcasts at .5x, 1.5x or 2x speed, which iTunes and Stitcher allow. The Overcast app offers a SmartSpeed feature, which compresses the podcast by editing out silences.

Podcasting for Ag?

Has podcasting penetrated the ag market?

Yes and no. Some ag media outlets have their own podcasts. Several universities have podcasts.

A top 12 list made by Ryan Goodman, who’s behind the Agriculture Proud podcast, includes:

  • AgriTalk – Mike Adams
  • Zimmcast – Chuck and Cindy Zimmerman
  • Beef Today – AgWeb
  • BeefWatch Podcast – University of Nebraska Beef Cattle Extension
  • Blogriculture – Capital Ag Press
  • Consumer Ag Connection – Pam Fretwell
  • Farm and Ranch Country – Bill Graff, Illinois
  • Food and Farm Radio – Ray Bowman, Kentucky
  • My Farm Radio – Farm Journal
  • Off Farm Income – Matt Brechwald, Idaho
  • Oklahoma Farm Report – Ron Hays, Oklahoma
  • Real Agriculture – Canadian Agriculture News

As people have pointed out, podcasts are ideal for driving—and farmers spend a lot of time in vehicles. Another favorite time to listen to podcasts is when doing something physical and repetitive, such as chores—which farmers spend a lot of time on, too.

On the other hand, most older Americans haven’t yet made the jump onto the podcast bandwagon. Just 11 percent of those ages 55-plus listen to podcasts monthly.

Since we know the average age of farmers in the U.S. has been increasing over the last 30 years, and was at 58.3 in 2012 (USDA, 2014), ag podcasts may be more appropriate for the younger generation.

How to Use Podcasting

One of your options is to advertise within podcasts.

Advertisers have some concerns about podcasting, which include a lack of user analytics and tracking capabilities. But those who have advertised on podcasts have seen success thus far, as nearly two-thirds of all podcast listeners have shown purchase intent (product research, visiting brand websites, etc.) after listening to an ad on podcasts, according to a ComScore study.

Another option is to create your own podcast. For example, Paulsen recently launched a podcast series called Spark: Careers in Agribusiness, available on iTunes and on Paulsen’s website.

The series was the brainchild of Paulsen President Sara Steever. She realized that successful men and women in ag have great stories to tell—and that young people who may or may not be considering a career in the ag industry need to hear those stories.

Creating the podcast was fairly straightforward for us, because we have professional audio production equipment and capabilities. In addition, the women we’ve approached to tell their stories have been delighted to participate.

Soon the Spark podcast series will be turned into video for use in FFA classrooms.

If you’d like to discuss podcasting with us, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 605-336-1745 or send an email to