Podcasts are looking like an increasingly viable channel to engage with customers

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Every time I go online, I come across posts on marketing covering all sorts of topics, like search, paid search ads, display ads, and various social media platforms. But I don’t get to read much on podcasting. That’s a shame because of the rising value podcasts gives marketers yet another channel for connecting to an audience. That value should be part of every marketer’s digital strategy.

Podcasts have evolved from their role as niche entertainment or hobbyist activity. The Pew Institute noted that the number of people who listen to podcasts is steadily increasing. Consistent audience interest means marketers are starting to take notice. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) conducted a study looking at the performance of the largest players in podcasting. It noted that podcast ad revenue is anticipated to reach more than $220 million in 2017, a rise of 85% over 2016. Previously, ad revenues for podcasts jumped 73% from 2015 to 2016.

Podcasts are a means of presenting useful content where listeners are, in effect, a captive audience, such as in a car – a sharp observation given that cars are increasingly offering wifi hot spots to allow streamed media. It’s also worth mentioning that podcasts elude ad blocking technology.

Apple has been a major registration portal for many podcasts, but podcast producers have long criticized the company, complaining Apple was not providing basic listener data that could help podcasters learn how listeners respond to podcast episodes.

Apple’s response is the introduction of an in-episode analytics dashboard for its podcast app. The…