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Can we get customers to listen?

Radio has been a slowly dying medium for many years. This trend was accelerated by a change from a radio receiver being just about the only way we could get audio or visual entertainment ‘on the move’, to the place we now find ourselves, where (apart from in cars) it’s actually quite fiddly to access. Who’s bought a portable radio in the last 20 years? If I’m sitting on a bus, it’s easier for me to watch YouTube than to listen to radio.

However, it wasn’t the act of listening to speech or music that died; far from it – we just moved on. I’d bet the number of hours of music the nation listens to is greater than ever, with much of it consumed while out and about. And after a few false starts, speech content has exploded in popularity. All it needed was an easy way for people to listen to what they wanted, when they wanted.

Podcasts: not convinced

Which of course brings me to podcasts. Now, although I’m a huge fan, and listen to these nowadays more than I ever listened to speech radio in the past, I’m not convinced of their effectiveness in business. Most of the opportunity we have to listen to podcasts is outside of the working environment (obviously), and with so much sharply-focused entertainment available, few of us are going to prefer to listen to work-related stuff.

But… there could be an opportunity. Many of our customers will have podcast apps set up. If we can produce one-off, work-related content, which can be listened to easily (with a click making the item pop up in the recipient’s podcast app), there’s a chance that they might listen to that piece if it’s made attractive enough. Many of us could record good seminar content as audio, for example. I think that for many subjects, it could stand a better chance of being heard than a video.