The Power of Podcasts: Analyzing the latest trends in podcasts

News & Insights / Macey Baker and Tom Jenkin / 4 min read

Podcasts are now critical for reputation management strategies. Increasingly they are seen as the place for deep knowledge and subject matter excellence, creating different and important kinds of insights when understanding the shape of the media conversation affecting a business.

Future-looking comms and business leaders are aware of this trend, and more and more are looking to podcasts as a way to reach and understand stakeholder narratives as well as report on earned podcast appearances. Using AI to understand the narrative on a topical level, comms teams can look for and easily share emerging trends, risks and insights.

To celebrate the launch of podcast media on the Signal ® platform, we used our AIQ—the brain behind Signal AI—to analyze trends in podcast data, such as the most mentioned people, organizations, products and topics. The following data is taken from 30th August to 17th November.

People, organizations and products are filtered by salience, i.e. how close an entity is mentioned – anything with a salience score of greater than 2 is excluded (1 is the highest possible salience score). The figure indicates the number of podcasts these entities were mentioned in.

We used AIQ to track the biggest movers in podcast content over the last two months. The above chart shows the coverage of Dave Chappelle, Alec Baldwin, Aaron Rodgers, Elon Musk and Kylie Jenner. The heightened coverage of NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers—who, along with his team the Green Bay Packers, was fined for breaching Covid safety rules—shows the prevalence of sports-related podcasts. His coverage was higher than any mention of Alec Baldwin after the death of Halyna Hutchins

The podcasts mentioning hot topics

The following data counts the podcasts that mentioned the following topics the most: Financial Services, Technology, and Sustainability. This data is gathered across 12 weeks from 1st September, 2021. Note this does not factor in the reach of podcasts, merely mentions of three key topics.

We can immediately see that more podcasts related to Financial Services are focused on emerging financial trends such as cryptocurrencies. We can also see the lack of established media brand names, showing that emerging topics are well covered by media that wouldn’t necessarily be on your radar. We can also see how established media such as BBC, The Economist and TIME are low down the list on mentioning Sustainability in their podcasts, albeit these are more general podcasts not specifically related to the topic in question.

News podcasts

Arguably the most popular type, news-based podcasts offer a glimpse into who and what is being mentioned on a more frequent basis. Given COP26 and the prevalence of politics in news podcasts, it’s no surprise that President Biden and Donald Trump find themselves the most mentioned. But in third, it’s Jesus. 

Given the attention paid to regulatory changes around Facebook and also President Biden’s infrastructure bill in the last six weeks, we also see the two topics  Regulatory Changes and Market Regulation high up in the list of most mentioned topics. Unsurprisingly then, Social Media is in third.

People: Joe Biden, 52,009. Donald Trump, 51,312. Jesus, 4,533.

Organiation: The Motley Fool, 22,216.  Twitter, 15,485. Republican Party (United States), 14,097.

Topics: Regulatory Changes, 320,133. Market Regulation, 204,196. Social Media, 162,442

Business podcasts

While the most referenced people in podcasts is to be expected given we’re analyzing business shows, the most mentioned products here are particularly interesting. Electricity is the most mentioned by some margin, perhaps pointing to a focus on power and clean energy trends. Second however is Dogecoin, a popular cryptocurrency made after a meme that’s gained traction in the news for it’s strange name and huge volatility. 

People: Joe Biden 11,430. Donald Trump 5,718. Boris Johnson 957. 

Products: Electricity 1,219. Dogecoin (cryptocurrency) 673. Alcoholic Drinks 509.

Topics: Market Regulation 127,584. Regulatory Changes 116,184. Manufacturing 105,341.

Technology podcasts

Despite no longer being in the public eye to the same extent as when he was in office, Donald Trump still features heavily in discussion on podcasts, appearing high again here in the technology section. Elon Musk also features here. 

iPhone’s dominance as the most mentioned product is linked also to the most mentioned topics in Promotions and Product Launches, with the new iPhone 13 having launched in September.

People: Donald Trump 898. Joe Biden 704. Elon Musk 329.

Products: iPhone 1,187. Amazon Alexa 849. Server (computing) 567.

Topics: Engineering 24,287. Promotions 17,625. Product Launches 15,494.

Signal AI now offers monitoring and insights from over 20,000 live and agenda-setting podcasts including NYT The Daily, BBC World Service Business Matters and PBS Newshour. The media intelligence also includes listenership data, key to any strategic communications strategy. Our AIQ processes and delivers hyper-relevant insights, empowering you to identify the podcasts most relevant to your business and the topics you care about  and supplement the intelligence used to research and understand emerging risks and trends in your industry.

Find out how to build podcasts into your reputation management strategy.