Some brand managers took a shot at podcasting in its earliest days. Westinghouse produced a wonderful podcast called The American Family. Speedo, BMW, The Walt Disney Company, and a respectable list of other top-shelf brands tried their hands at podcasting. They were too early. The numbers weren’t there to produce the kinds of results a corporate branding effort required. For most listeners, the process of finding a podcast, subscribing to it, and transfering an episode from a PC to a portable device was just too daunting. Some companies have stuck with it, from Oracle to the International Spy Museum, figuring the niche audiences they reached were worth the effort.
Today, however, brand managers see the lift MailChimp got from its affiliation with the first breakout podcast hit, “Serial.” With the kinds of numbers Edison Research is reporting from its Infinite Dial and Share of Ear studies, marketers are paying much closer attention to the podcasting’s potential.