Boost VC Podcast - Potential Cross Promotion

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Boost VC Podcast: Listener Motivations

People have six primary motivations for listening to podcasts including inspiration, education, personal and career growth and development, time optimization, convenience, and expert advice. In addition, several factors are considered important aspects of a podcast; however, there is no universal weight given to the importance placed on each of these. Rather, the weighting is subjective based on the motivations a person has for listening to the podcast.


  • The podcast market has a huge potential for growth.
  • The same number of Americans listen to podcasts as use Twitter. It is estimated 21% of Americans listened to a podcast in the previous month.
  • There are several reasons people are motivated to listen to podcasts.


  • Podcasts are a way of discovering new material and information. One of the reasons people listen to podcasts is to inspire themselves to develop and focus their thinking around a particular topic.
  • The ability for podcasts to provide a range of different perspectives on a wide range of topics is one of the primary motivations people have for listening.
  • Podcasts can inspire people to explore and develop various thoughts and ideas. They can inspire the listener to expand their horizons.


  • Podcasts provide the listener with an opportunity to educate themselves and keep abreast of what is happening. They allow the listener to keep up to date with new technologies.
  • Technology, emerging sci-fi technology, virtual reality, and augmented reality are all areas that are evolving quickly. There are constantly new developments and advancements in these areas.
  • VR Roundtable is an example of a virtual reality blog that discusses news and developments in this area on a weekly basis.
  • Cryptocurrencies are relatively new. Podcasts provide listeners with the ability to educate themselves around these currencies. They also provide listeners with education around developing markets, market trends, and forecasts.
  • Bitcoin Knowledge podcast an example of a podcast of this nature.
  • There are endless opportunities in the podcast market. Podcasts in the venture capital and entrepreneurship and startup areas can provide invaluable education to someone looking to develop a career in these areas.
  • Startup is an example of a podcast that fulfills this role. It educates a person in all aspects of starting a new business.


  • Podcasts allow the listener to receive advice and counseling on the topics that interest them most. They can be a stepping stone to both personal and career growth and development.


  • The world is a busy place. Podcasts allow the listener to optimize their time, and as a result, this is one of the primary motivators for listening to podcasts in the content areas investigated.
  • Podcasts can be listened to anywhere: while commuting, grocery shopping or at the gym. The ability to listen to a podcast while on-the-go maximizes a person's time.
  • Rocketship.FM is about all things start-up and with 30-minute episodes is orientated toward a persons commute.
  • Previously, people have had to devote specific time to educating themselves around different topics through reading industry magazines or articles on the internet. Podcasts allow a person to maintain education, for example, while participating in another aspect of daily life.


  • The convenience of podcasts is another motivation for listening. Podcasts allow large topics to be broken down into bite-size pieces of information that can be consumed when it is convenient for the listener.
  • For example, Technology: NPR, is one of the most popular technology podcasts and has lengths of between three to 10 minutes.


  • The ability to hear from experts in the field is another motivation for listening to podcasts. In the past, these opportunities were simply not available to the everyday person.
  • Eventual Millionaire is an example of an entrepreneurial podcast. This podcast has interviewed over 350 millionaires and billionaires. The weekly show allows listeners to hear from these experts and adapt their advice to their own lives.


  • The most important aspect of a podcast is very much a subjective thing, and in most instances depends on the motivations of the person listening to it. For example, while the discussion of technology advancements and the need for up to date information may be the most important for some people, for others hearing from experts and being able to adapt this to their own lives is the most important aspect.
  • Given that all listeners have different motivations for listening to different podcasts, the weight that is given to each consideration depends very much on the individual and their motivations for listening to a particular podcast.
  • Content is given an 80% weighting in the success of a podcast.


  • A survey in 2018 found that 42% of participants asked social media or online community pages regarding the best podcasts to listen to.
  • The second consideration was the opinion of people who were interested in similar things at 23%.
  • Both of these considerations were considered more important that google searches (12%) and searching My Podcasts App directory (16%).
  • This illustrates, that audience perception is an important consideration and carries significant weight, especially when people are determining which podcasts to listen to.


  • The educational value of a podcast is an important factor in deciding whether a person listens to it. With a limited number of hours in the day, people want to maximize their opportunities.
  • If education is a primary motivation for listening to a podcast, then people want to listen to the podcasts that provide them with the best and most up-to-date information available.
  • People want value for their time investment. They want to ensure that the information they are receiving from the podcast adds value to their lives or careers.


  • People want to listen to podcasts that keep their minds engaged. If the mind is wandering during the podcast, it is less likely to have value to the listener.
  • Listeners want to have their minds challenged, and their horizons broadened. This is one of the motivations people have for listening so a podcast must deliver.
  • A podcast that does not engage the listener has little value and is unlikely to be successful.


  • Although this may seem slightly odd in the context of the fields discussed in this research, entertainment value is nonetheless an important consideration in a podcast.
  • It is directly related to listener engagement.
  • Information that is presented in an entertaining manner is more likely to engage the listener. It is, therefore an important consideration.


  • Podcasts that feature guests, the listener would not normally hear from are an important consideration when considering whether to follow a podcast.
  • People want to hear from experts in the field. This adds value to the information being conveyed.
  • Premier guests are typically people who are successful in their field. They have information of value to convey to the listener.
  • A podcast's ability to present premier guests is an important factor in the success of that podcast and whether people engage with it.


  • The presentation of fresh content is a fundamental consideration.
  • Fresh information is required if the listener is to remain engaged with the podcast.
  • People want to get value for the time they have invested in listening to the podcast. If the information presented is not new or informative, they are less likely to engage with the podcast in the future.


  • If people are going to make an investment of their time in listening to a podcast, the quality of each episode must be maintained.
  • The episodes need to be presented consistently, in the frequency promised.
  • For example, a weekly podcast needs to deliver every week. Consistency is something listeners consider important in a podcast.


  • There is no doubt that the ability to hear a podcast is an important factor in a podcast. It carries less weight than some other factors in determining the success of a podcast.
  • The most important factor concerning audio is that the sound quality is non-distracting. If listeners are distracted by the audio quality, it is unlikely they will engage with the podcast on a long-term basis.


To ascertain the motivations driving people to subscribe to a podcast in the areas identified, we extensively searched a range of industry articles, publications, and blogs. By doing this, we were able to identify a list of primary motivations around listening patterns concerning podcasts. Once we had compiled this list, we cross-referenced it against lists of the most successful podcasts in the areas identified to determine which of these factors were relevant to this specific industry. This enabled us to identify six clear motivations that were industry-specific.

We then searched various industry articles and publications to identify the factors that were important considerations in a podcast. We considered a range of podcasts in the areas identified and researched each to identify why it was successful. In addition, we also attempted to ascertain the weight that people attributed to each aspect of the podcast and its importance. There were a number of industry articles, publications, and blogs that identified the most important considerations by listeners as to the different aspects of a podcast. 

As we completed our research, it became clear that there is not a universal weighting attributed to the importance of each consideration. The importance of each consideration is subjective and based primarily on the motivations of the individual for being interested in a particular podcast. With this in mind, we cross-referenced the list of considerations we had developed with the motivations people have for listening to podcasts in this area. This enabled us to compile the considerations that carried the most weight concerning podcasts in this particular area of industry.