Podcasting - radio's clever offspring works

Nova head of creative services, Andy Milne
By Nova head of creative services, Andy Milne | 25 July 2016
Andy Milne

Charged with developing compelling content and new ideas for advertisers, it’s not just our responsibility to be aware of the ever-changing marketing trends, it’s an expectation that we’re “all over it".

For example, a strategy for Snapchat loses its momentum when a competitive brand launches and owns it – to 10 million millennials.

“Do you do VR 360? It’s the future of advertising you know.”

“Sure. Sure we do.”

VR, personalisation, the expectation economy, disruption, the internet of things - there's so much future and its happening right now. Is it possible to be fluent in a language that keeps changing?

Among all the chatter, there is one strategy that has moved beyond trend to tipping point – it’s a strategy we understand very well.


Podcasting has been around since 2004 but wasn’t really a thing till latter 2014 when we were captured by Serial (if you haven’t heard it, get on board). It is an example of brilliant storytelling. It reinvestigated the 1999 murder of Maryland high school student Hae Min Lee and her guilty (or not) ex-boyfriend Adnan.

Serial was the fastest podcast to reach five million streams or downloads in iTunes history. Of course smartphone technology and mobile devices that make it easier to listen in the car have assisted this serial success.

Since then, growth in the US and Australia has been massive - last year alone the ABC saw an increase of 31% for podcasting. Even my 78-year-old father loves his podcasts.

Needless to say, brands and the people paid to spread their message are trying to navigate how and what they need to do to be a part of the podcasting movement. This is where traditional radio broadcasters have the edge.

Podcasting is exciting

Our industry’s natural evolution perfectly supports the global trend of personalisation and instant gratification. What is missing is ubiquitous quality.

Podcasting is radio’s clever little offspring and we are its showbiz mum. Looking on with love and admiration, we’re excited by their freedom and their future.

And like most proud parents, we teach that success comes with consistent quality, in values and product, aiming to be the best at what you do.

As everyday people were able to achieve global recognition through amateur, lo-fi video on YouTube, niche fans and hobbyists can talk into the built in mic on their device and instantly publish their thoughts.

But consumers can only tolerate so many blurry cat videos captured on phones. Today, there is very real demand for good quality, highly produced video content online. That consumer expectation will soon extend to podcasts.

Currently in Australia there is some great repurposed radio content, such as Kate, Tim & Marty, and there is some very good radio sound-alike shows - Mamamia’s Out Loud is worth a listem. Unfortunately, very few are doing anything of a consistently high standard and we are certainly lacking for great episodic content.

Andrew Denton showed it can be done with the extraordinary “Better Off Dead” podcast he did with the Wheeler Centre, but there isn’t enough of it and this is where traditional radio broadcasters will come in.

To navigate the world of podcasting, brands need people who understand audio. Marketers with access to modern, well-appointed audio production suites, staffed by talented, innovative audio producers who contribute to the product, rather than just pushing record. Teams fuelled by qualified story telling professionals – creative specialists who have studied and honed the art of writing great communication.

Radio broadcasters and marketers create audio content – content that will be heard, felt and shared – it’s what we do and we are really, really good at it. That’s why we are so excited about podcasting for brands and how we’re already ahead of the trend.

Over the next year, the most successful podcasts in Australia will be the ones that capture listener’s attention with great stories and excellent audio production. The brands that will benefit from that success will be the ones that acknowledge quality audio is the key to getting closer to consumers.

If you like the idea of podcasting your brand, talk to someone who specialises in audio content. Quality is key to your success. And like a proud parent, they should give you all they've got to help you shine.

By Nova Entertainment head of creative services, Andy Milne

Milne is speaking on Thursday at IAA YP's Learn from the Leaders - Radio, Podcasts and Audiobooks. Get your tickets here.

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