Podcasts can be the replacement for physical magazines, says Haymarket

Haymarket sees podcasts as replacement for print delivering similar engagement

Podcasts

B2B and specialist publisher Haymarket has revealed plans to increase its investment in podcasts as it “moves away” from print.

Deputy managing director of Haymarket Business Media Donna Murphy told Press Gazette that podcasts “replicate the way people would react” to magazines as she revealed the publisher had seen a 300% annual increase in listeners.

She added that podcasting had become an increasingly “critical element” of its “deep engagement strategy” and that its portfolio saw around 20,000 listeners per month.

This week Haymarket announced the acquisition of Podcast Awards Ltd, the company behind the British Podcast Awards as well as similar events in Ireland and Australia.

Murphy revealed that the publisher now hopes to expand the awards to the US and Asia and launch a series of global podcasting conferences.

She told Press Gazette: “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been busy building a portfolio of weekly and fortnightly podcasts across our business media brands as a critical element of our ‘deep engagement’ strategy – concentrating efforts on known, niche and highly-committed audiences.”

“As expected at this stage, content consumption is generally higher on our content sites, but podcasts are rapidly catching up. Our like-for-like growth in B2B audio audiences over the past year has been around 300%. Sponsorship (rather than networked ads) is growing at a similar rate and will soon be a material part of our commercial revenue mix.”

“We see podcasts as a key audience engagement tool and as we continue to move away from print in some areas, it’s a perfect medium to build personality and tone. Like magazines, podcasts are episodic and have clear structures,” she added, before going on to explain that the company’s portfolio of 15 podcasts was set to see three new additions soon.

“Our strategy is to use podcasting as a way to strengthen the breadth and depth of engagement across the valuable content we serve to our known audiences.

“Podcasts are perfect for this – serving specialist, vertical audiences. They are a passion point for shared communities of interest. We are seeing audience behaviour replicate the way people would react to our magazines.”

Podcasts can generate a significant amount of revenue for publishers even in niche B2B markets with smaller audiences. Fellow specialist publisher DC Thomson has said that it “comfortably” makes six figures a year from sponsorship revenue for its Energy Voice Out Loud podcast despite it having an average download figure of just over 260 people.

On the Podcast Awards acquisition, Murphy told Press Gazette: “The Podcast Awards co-founders have produced brilliant events in Britain, Australia and now in Ireland too.

“With our global footprint, particularly in the US and Asia, we plan to expand and launch more awards in those regions, as well as another set of awards that celebrate the best podcasts around the world.

“Our vision is also to create localised, in-person conferences that bring together brands, agencies and media owners with expert podcast creators in the different regions where Campaign has the biggest presence, namely in the UK, US and Asia.”

PWC research has found that UK podcasting advertising revenue, currently £37m, is set to grow to £64m by 2025 –  16 times more than the £4m the market was worth in 2016.

Picture: Shutterstock / spaxiax

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