Podcasting is here to stay. Here are seven reasons you should take it seriously as an author.
1. Podcasting Is a Tool of Bestselling Authors
Here is a list of the 10 bestselling Christian authors for September 2019. (A Bible study of Lysa TerKeurst’s book is actually #9, so I edited the list to remove the repetition.)
- Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
- The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst
- The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
- Boss Up! by Lindsay Teague Moreno
- Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
- Overcomer by Chris Fabry
- 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs
Now here is that same list but with each author who either has a podcast (H = host) or has been a guest (G = guest) on a podcast in bold.
- Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (H & G)
- The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (G)
- It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst (G)
- The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (H & G)
- Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (H & G)
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (H)
- Boss Up! by Lindsay Teague Moreno (H & G)
- Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend (G)
- Overcomer by Chris Fabry (H & G)
- 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs (H & G)
As you can see, 100% of the bestselling authors this month were either a guest or host on a podcast. 60% of them did both!
Out of curiosity, I did a spot check on the next 20 authors in the bestseller list. They all had a podcast presence too. It should come as no surprise that every major book marketing plan includes a podcast strategy of some kind.
In 2019, podcasting is something you can’t afford to ignore. Or, put another way, a podcast strategy is a required platform element for top authors. If you want to be a top author, you can’t afford to ignore podcasts.
2. Podcast Listening Is More Popular Than Ever!
According to Edison Research, 51% of Americans ages 12+ have listened to a podcast. This means more people have listened to podcasts than not.
Podcast listening is expected to eat away market share from radio each year for the foreseeable future.
Among podcast listeners, the biggest chunk of their time goes to podcasts: 28%. That’s more than what they spend on AM/FM radio (24%) or streaming audio (15%).
3. Podcast Listeners Are Book Readers
Not everyone reads books, and not everyone listens to podcasts. The kind of people who listen to a 30-minute podcast are the same kind of people with the patience to read books. It is no wonder bestselling authors are embracing podcasting so completely.
Podcast listeners are also:
- more educated
- more connected
compared to the average American.
4. Podcasting Is Not a Fad
Podcasts have been around for a long time. The “pod” in podcast comes from the iPod, to give you an idea of how old they are. Podcasts are older than the smartphone technology people now listen to them on. Podcast listening has grown continually for more than 15 years. And the rate of growth has been accelerating in recent years.
5. Podcasts Are More Influential Than Social Media
What do you think would be more effective for convincing someone to buy your book: an image they saw on Facebook or listening to a 30-minute conversation between you and a podcast host they already know, like, and trust?
It’s no competition. The conversation will win every time. Authors with a podcast-centric strategy will outsell authors with a social media-centric strategy.
6. Podcasting Is Censorship Free
Because of how RSS (the technology behind podcasting) works, listeners have full control over what they listen to; and podcasters have full control over what they create. As social networks crack down on Christian authors, those authors are switching to podcasts to get the word out about their books. This protects them from censorship or anti-Christian practices while simultaneously giving them a richer connection with their readers.
From a technological perspective, it is nearly impossible to fully censor a podcast.
7. Christianity Is the Most Popular Podcast Category
One reason why podcasting is so particularly powerful for Christian authors is that there are so many podcasts for those authors to be guests on.
According to Pacific Content, there are more Christian podcasts than any other kind of podcast. This is due, in part, to sermon podcasts. For years, churches have promoted the church podcast during the announcements and in the bulletin.
Yes, You Need to Start Listening to Podcasts
Even if you are still an unpublished author, you need to start listening to podcasts to prepare for your inevitable interviews and potential show.
Chances are you already listen to podcasts. If not, statistically speaking, you are most likely an Android user.
Android users trail far behind iPhone users in terms of podcast consumption. The reason for this is because unlike iPhones, Android phones don’t come with a podcast app preinstalled. But don’t worry. You can still listen to podcasts on an Android phone; you only need to download a free app like Castbox from the Google Play Store.
If you are looking for podcasts to listen to, we have a strong list of Podcasts for Christian Writers here.
More Podcasting Stats
Infographic by MusicOomph.com.