Our daily habits have changed.  How we shop, work, spend our free time, and consume content has shifted to embrace more technology and digital media than ever, all due to several factors including the COVID-19 pandemic.  Specifically, this shift can be seen in the significant rise in interest, listenership, and audience behavior in the podcasting industry.

In 2020, 75% of Americans aged 12 years old and up were familiar with the word “podcasting,” according to The Podcast Host, which increased to 78% in 2021.  Additionally, The Podcast Host reported that there was a 2% increase year over year (2020 to 2021) in people in the US that have listened to a podcast at least once in their life, up from 55%, which amounts to an estimated total of 162 million people that have listened to at least one podcast.  PodcastHosting.org also reports that 41% of monthly podcast listeners have a household income over $75,000 per year – $6,600 higher than the national Median Household Income for 2020.  This increase in the overall awareness of podcasts as well as the higher income level of the average listener is a clear sign of opportunity for advertisers and brands to tap into a new audience or expand their current one.

A new or expanded audience is indeed a valuable opportunity for brands, but the key to making podcasting a successful long-term and multi-touch marketing strategy is listener retention.  This year, The Podcast Host reported a 4% gain in monthly podcast listeners as well as a 4% gain in weekly listeners, signifying steady growth in 2021 to an estimated total of 116 million of Americans over 12 years old that are regularly listening.  More importantly, 93% of podcast audiences in the United States listen to all or most of each episode.

With the steady growth of active and engaged listeners, the number of available podcasts and episodes has equally soared, with over two million podcasts and over 48 million episodes available as of May 2021, as calculated by PodcastHosting.org.  Regardless of the increase of competition, brands cannot ignore the obvious opportunity podcasts represent, but standing out requires a more well thought out approach for quality content and listening.


We know it works, and how it works.  In 2012, our Founder and CEO Dan Kahn co-hosted more than 100 episodes of the “Cars for a Living” entrepreneurial podcast with Rob Kibbe.  As a company, Kahn Media also produced the Petersen Automotive Museum’s top-rated “Car Stories” podcast for nearly three years and is currently producing the Bring a Trailer Podcast hosted by BaT Co-Founder Randy Nonnenberg, which was recently ranked as the #2 automotive podcast in the US on Apple Podcasts.

Proper Equipment for Quality Audio:
Technology has a knack for making tasks easier and more efficient.  Today’s recording equipment has become much more accessible and cost effective, all while delivering near-professional level performance.  That being said, a simple approach is our recommendation when starting your first podcast, especially when it comes to equipment.  If you decide to continue your podcast, then upgrading equipment is fairly straightforward, while if you decide podcasting is just not for you, then your losses aren’t as dramatic.

In our experience, we have found that there are three key elements to consider when setting up your podcasting studio:

  1. Quality mics are extremely important to be able to capture consistent audio quality from the host and guests.   What type of microphone you’ll need depends on how you plan to produce your podcast – in a fixed location or with a mobile setup:
  2. Sound-isolating studio monitor headphones will help you maintain your concentration, block out background noise, and allow you to hear the same audio feed as your listeners while recording:
  3. A quiet location to record that can be consistently used is important as audio variations from one episode to another conveys a poor brand image.

[Package Option: For an all-in-one package including both microphone and headphones: BLUE Microphones Yeti Slate USB Microphone (Slate) Bundle with Over-Ear Headphone and Knox Gear Pop Filter – $169.99 on Amazon

Consistency is key with not only with your own workflow, but in order to condition your audience to listen to your episodes on a regular basis.

Consistency is key with not only with your own workflow, but in order to condition your audience to listen to your episodes on a regular basis.

  1. We recommend creating a schedule in a spreadsheet and setting recurring times/days for podcast booking and recording as well as publication.
  2. Put together a template for podcast information, conversation flow and a waiver to send to guests prior to recording.

When first starting a podcast, it’s best to keep the approach and workflow as simple as possible – making it easier for not only you, the host, to organize the recording, but also for any guests to join.  These two recording platforms not only make recording your podcast from a single or multiple locations simple, but they also have editing capabilities and additional tools to help you create a polished final product.

  1. Zencastr (basic package is free) is an online platform that records separate audio tracks for both speakers, making it easy to cut and edit.
  2. Riverside (basic package starting at $7.50/month) is another online platform that records separate audio tracks for all speakers, but also has 4k video recording capabilities should you want to add include a video version of your podcast.[JB3]   Additionally, Riverside allows for live streaming to your Twitch, YouTube or Facebook account while recording.

Intro and Outro:
Finally, a consistent intro and outro which features a set soundtrack and recorded message is highly recommended to keep listeners engaged in the overall branding of the podcast and to create a consistent, professional feel to your episodes.  Make sure to use music that used is copyright/royalty-free or you may have to purchase the rights to use it.

This is a brief overview of everything you need to know to start hosting your own podcast, but once you do, the next steps are to elevate, monetize and maximize the impact of your episodes.  With our background in public relations and content marketing in addition to our talented in-house creative staff, our team has the expertise and the network to build your podcast from the ground up or grow the audience for one you’ve already started.

Contact us today at info@kahnmedia.com