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The Rise and Rise of Podcasts

Mixergy is a popular podcast within the global technology community. The podcast is hosted by Andrew ...

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The Rise and Rise of Podcasts
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Mixergy is a popular podcast within the global technology community. The podcast is hosted by Andrew Warner a former technology entrepreneur who was into online greeting cards during the dot com bubble. After his business was acquired, he decided to impart some of the knowledge he had gleaned whiles running his business called “Bradford and Reed” with his brother. This quest to share his experiences with an audience motivated him to start Mixergy events, a live event within the San Francisco tech community. He then added a podcast and webinars which has presently received critical and popular acclaim. 

The story behind the Mixergy podcast is not different from that of other popular and respected business podcasts such as Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn, Entrepreneur on Fire by John Lee Dumas and the $100 MBA show put together by Omar Zenhom. They were all passionate about using the power of podcast to tell a story of how individuals could learn and be inspired by other successful entrepreneurs and business people and how they can channel that energy into their personal venture.

 

What is a podcast? 

The etymology of the word podcast has been attributed to British journalist Ben Hammersley in an article he wrote in the Guardian titled “Why Online Radio is Booming”. Podcast is an amalgamation of the words “iPod” and “Broadcast”. Podcast therefore is basically on-demand online radio. I define a podcast as a downloadable audio file which contains narratives, interviews and resources on a particular type of topic targeted at a specific audience. Podcasts can be accessed on a variety of platforms including the Apple Podcast App, SoundCloud, Tunein Radio, Stitcher Radio amongst others.

Podcasts can be found on a wide number of topics ranging from Entrepreneurship and Startups to Marketing and Sales to Design and Art. The topic range for the global podcast industry is endless.

 

Why are podcasts relevant? 

The relevance of podcasts are numerous, this is because podcast serves as a vital resource for learning and discovery. The key highlight of podcasts include the fact that they can be listened to on demand. Therefore the listening process of a podcast can be scheduled to be enjoyed when the listener is less buys. Unlike traditional radio where once a live interview is missed, it is hard to access it. Podcast listeners therefore have the privilege of listening to interviews over and over again. 

Another added advantage of podcast is that listeners get to pick and choose topics they really care about. Therefore an average listener can access specialty topics. Within the business and entrepreneurship podcasting space one can find special subdomain topics such as Marketing, Online Business Mastery, Human Resource Management, Technology Tools for Startups amongst others. 

Podcast listeners are usually also privy to an online community associated with the podcasts. These online communities can serve as a great resource for startup founders because the group usually encompasses experienced and highly skilled business people and entrepreneurs who can share valuable advice and insights with community members. Community members can direct up and coming entrepreneurs to both offline and online resources which can improve their efficiency in the running of their businesses. 

 

Monetization of Podcast

Brands and marketers are currently taking advantage of the intimate relationships that podcasters have with their audience and have started investing in podcasts as a form of marketing. Marketer claim adoption rates and conversion rates after sponsoring a podcast usually shoots up. One special way marketer use to track and analyse podcast performance is to create unique URL as part of the sponsorship package. For example when website domain and hosting service HostGator sponsors the Mixergy podcast, they create a special URL example hostgator.com/mixergy to measure how many visitors will sign unto the platform via the landing page.  

Podcast sponsorships has become such a lucrative form of revenue that some podcasters rely on it as a formidable source of income. This has given the opportunity for podcasters to purse it as a full time career. Extremely popular ones such as WTF by Marc Maron, EO Fire by John Lee Dumas and Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn rake in thousands of dollars monthly. Podcasters are also building their personal brand and increasing their personal following which allows them to sell resources such as books, webinars, online courses etc. 

The podcast revolution has just begun, and as upcoming podcasters dream up topics to attract new listeners. I hope Africans take advantage of this burgeoning media opportunity to narrate stories about the unique African experience to a global audience. 

 

By: Kwaku Abedi, an entrepreneurship, marketing and business development junkie and the founder of The African Hustle, a digital platform for African entrepreneurs.

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