Biggest Branded Podcasts

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Part
01

Biggest Branded Podcasts, Pt. 1

The biggest branded podcasts in the US are The Dave Ramsay Show, Duolingo's Spanish Podcast, The goop Podcast, Goldman Sachs's podcasts and the LifeAfter/The Message podcast by GE.
  • The Dave Ramsay Show Podcast is a podcast offering consumer advice about finances and money. It is ranked #14 on the Apple charts and has 4.6 stars from over 13,000 ratings. Dave Ramsay, while he has humble beginnings as mere a financial advice celebrity, has grown his "Dave Ramsay" brand into a network of tools, affiliated service providers, classes and events.
  • Duolingo Spanish Podcast is designed to help people learn Spanish. It is produced by the popular language-learning app, clearly to fit in well with learning Spanish within the app. This podcast ranked #155 on the Apple podcast charts and #2 among all education-tagged podcasts.
  • The goop Podcast is produced by the Gweneth Paltrow-owned-and-run lifestyle brand. The podcast ranked #191 on the Apple charts is #6 in the health and fitness category. The podcast has 4.4 stars from over 6,000 reviews.
  • The Goldman Sachs podcasts consist of three broadcasts: Top of Mind, Talks at GS and Exchanges at Goldman Sachs. The most recent episode of Exchanges at Goldman Sachs ranked #1 on SoundCloud last week. The podcast is followed by 17,900 people.
  • The Message/Life After is produced by GE (General Electric). This podcast had the highest number of reviews among all branded podcasts listed in several media articles. The podcast is rated 4.3 stars from over 2,800 reviews. The podcast reportedly has over 8 million downloads.

Research Strategy

Two of the largest podcast distribution platforms are Apple and Spotify. Therefore, we aimed to check the charts for the 250 podcasts (where there is, of course, much overlap) to then pull out the first five branded podcasts among these. However, even with 250 podcasts on Apple's "top" list, there were only 3 branded podcasts among these. We then found two other podcast platforms, SoundCloud and Stitcher, and checked their charts. SoundCloud's chart only lists episodes, rather than whole podcasts, but it stands to reason that popular episodes would also translate to popular podcasts as a whole. After this, we had four branded podcasts. Stitcher did not list any branded podcasts in its top 100.

We then changed our approach and sourced several articles listing the top or most popular branded podcasts in existence. We checked every podcast listed across these several expert articles and found the most popular, by number of reviewers, was GE's The Message. This then served as our fifth entry on the list.

As a note, "branded podcasts" was defined as podcasts from companies with actual products, not media or news outlets. Religious podcasts, affiliated with a certain church or figure, were not considered "branded".
Part
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Part
02

Biggest Branded Podcasts, Pt. 2

Research establishes the next 5 biggest branded podcasts in 2019 as Microsoft Partner Network Podcast by Microsoft, which appears to have a followership base on Facebook and Twitter, with total followership of 434,090. Others are Three and a Half Degrees by Facebook, Pick Me Up by Lyft, #LIPSTORIES by Sephora Collection, and eBay for Business by eBay with some of their popularities being determined through their review ratings and number of ratings on Apple podcasts and subscriber base on PlayerFM.

Microsoft Partner Network Podcast

Three and a Half Degrees (Facebook)

Pick Me Up (Lyft)

#LIPSTORIES (Sephora Collection)

eBay for Business (eBay)

  • eBay is one of the world's most powerful market place and runs a podcast called eBay for Business. It is an eBay associated podcast that features top e-commerce resources featuring eBay sellers, industry experts, and ebay employees. The podcast is a weekly source that provides information and motivational discussions on the requirements of starting, running and growing a business on eBay.
  • The popularity of the eBay for business can be determined through their 98 subscriber base on PlayerFM.

Research Strategy

To obtain information on the next 5 biggest branded podcasts in 2019, we accessed one of the sources provided in previous research, as well as other relevant sources to populate our findings. We were able to gather information on Microsoft's branded podcast that had a following both on Facebook and Twitter. With other findings, we could not get a followership base, hence we had to utilize their review ratings and number of ratings to determine their popularity.

Another source had a subscriber base that we could work with rather than review ratings from Apple podcasts to determine their popularity. That said, we realized that a subscriber base or followership would have made a better fit for this project, considering popularity is what is being sought after for the request. But since such information was not available for some findings, we had to settle for the review ratings as stated above.




Part
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Part
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Biggest Branded Podcasts, Pt. 3

2019 Biggest Branded Podcasts

Branded podcasts are podcasts created by or in conjunction with a brand. Brands are now using podcasts since they are ads that people actually want to listen to. Additional top branded podcasts in 2019 are 'The Message' by GE, 'TGIM' by Shopify, 'Open Account' by Umpqua Bank, 'The Distance' by Basecamp and 'LIPSTORIES' by Sephora Collection.

The Message

  • General Electric(GE) launched 'The Message' under the umbrella of the GE Podcast Theater platform in 2015. The message is a fictional narrative that takes listeners on journeys to the limits of technology.
  • 'The Message' has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 on Apple Podcasts based on the 2.8k reviews.
  • Alexa Christon, Head of media Innovation mentioned that the podcast had over 8 million downloads within the first year and the viewers and subscribers continues to grow.
  • The podcast has enabled GE to create both engaging stories to its listeners and communicate new and existing technology.

TGIM

Open Account

  • Open account is created by Umpqua Bank in collaboration with Slate Group Studios. Using an unconventionally honest approach to money, Open Account proves that financial struggles are universal and it is an issue we all experience.
  • The host, SuChin Pak is out to find answers about why money is so universally powerful and thrilling through personal stories with people that inspire us to think big like Baratunde Thurston, Director of Digital for The Onion.
  • The podcast has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Apple podcast based on 85 ratings.

The Distance

  • The Distance by Basecamp seeks to tell stories of the people behind the success of private businesses that have been in operation for at least 25 years. Business owners share their tips on survival in the business and how not to go out of business
  • The podcast's focus is on old businesses as opposed to start-ups to establish how these businesses have achieved longevity despite the new competition over the years.
  • The podcast has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Apple podcast based on 96 ratings

LIPSTORIES

Research Strategy

To determine the biggest branded podcasts, we determined a comparable metric whose data could be found for all the brands. We could not find data on the metric listener volume for branded podcasts, but only podcasts like NPR, which is not a brand. For this reason, we used the ratings and reviews metric. We used the ratings given on Apple podcast.



Part
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Part
04

Biggest Branded Podcasts, Pt. 4

Some of the biggest branded podcasts in 2019 include Work In Progress by Slack, Hackable? by McAfee, The Secret to Victory by Gatorade, Casting Call by Squarespace, and Flipping the Game by Reebok. Details on these podcasts, as well as the methodology used for this research, can be found below.

Work In Progress (Slack)

  • "Work In Progress" is a show that talks about the "meaning and identity we find in work." It is produced by Slack and hosted by Dan Misener. Each episode of the show features personal stories that highlight ambition, success, and failures in work.
  • Slack's branded podcast used to be known as the "Slack Variety Pack" which was named "World's Most Ambitious Branded Podcast" by Contently. They transitioned into "Work In Progress" in late 2016.
  • This podcast has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 based on 55 ratings on Apple Podcast.

Hackable? (McAfee)

  • "Hackable?" is a show produced by the security company McAfee that tackles the topic of vulnerability in an increasingly technologically-connected world. Hosted by Geoff Siskind and Bruce Snell, the podcast showcases security risks in daily activities that people may not be aware of.
  • "Hackable?" was awarded Best Branded Podcast at the 10th Annual Shorty Awards.
  • This podcast has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on 449 ratings on Apple Podcast.

The Secret to Victory (Gatorade)

  • "The Secret to Victory" is a show produced by Gatorade and Gimlet Creative where they explore how competitive athletes motivate themselves through their failures to succeed. It is hosted by former NFL cornerback Dominique Foxworth.
  • This podcast has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on 192 ratings on Apple Podcast.

Casting Call (Squarespace)

  • "Casting Call" is a "podcast talent show" produced by Squarespace and Gimlet Creative where submissions from aspiring podcast hosts are vetted by a panel of judges. Three finalists are chosen from these submissions and will be given the opportunity to make a pilot for their own show. The best of the three will be awarded the chance to turn their pilot into a mini-series, sponsored by Squarespace and produced by Gimlet Creative.
  • This podcast has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on 325 ratings on Apple Podcast.

Flipping the Game (Reebok)

  • "Flipping the Game" is a mini-series that talks about the trials and success that women have had to go through in the sneaker business, specifically around the conception of Reebok Freestyle which they claim is "the first shoe that got women into the sneaker game." The show was produced by Reebok and Gimlet Creative and is hosted by Scottie Beam.
  • This podcast has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 based on 99 ratings on Apple Podcast.

Research Strategy:

To determine 5 more biggest branded podcasts in 2019, we leveraged findings from top lists of branded podcasts such as one from Resonate Recordings. Neither monthly nor yearly audience volume could be found, therefore another metric had to be used. For this request, we defined "biggest podcast" as those that have been featured in top lists and have garnered positive ratings from multiple audience reviews.


Sources
Sources