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Top 5 Podcasts about Influencer Marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

How do you keep up with the latest trends in the marketing industry and especially in relation to influencer marketing? An effective and convenient way is to listen to podcasts. Today we're highlighting the rise of podcasts and showing you five podcasts worth listening to for marketing enthusiasts and experts.

two people recording a podcast
two people recording a podcast

Key Takeaways

  • Podcasts are created in a variety of formats, such as MP3, WAV, or AAC.
  • Factors driving the growth of the podcast industry include technological developments and accessibility, flexibility and convenience, and improved advertising opportunities.
  • Main categories of podcast advertising are standard advertising contracts, affiliate marketing, and branded podcasts.
  • Top 5 podcasts on and about IM in DACH are: Influence!, the OMR podcasts, What’s next Agencies?!, Social Marketing Nerds and E-commerce, Why Not?!

For the past few years, the podcast business has been booming and new formats are shooting out of the fertile ground of the on-demand industry. Listeners are captivated, whether by true crime (like “ZEIT Verbrechen”), political podcasts (like “Die Lage der Nation”) or interview formats (like “Hotel Matze”). Naturally, some leaders in the marketing industry have also decided to share their knowledge in audio files with fellow campaigners, experts, and consumers.

“Podcasts” are of double importance for brands and companies: on the one hand as a source of knowledge and on the other hand as a means to reach new target groups. Precisely because influencers play a crucial role in shaping consumer trends and preferences, it is important to understand the nuances of this dynamic industry.

In this article, we explore the podcast industry in Germany and introduce five helpful and informative podcasts that focus on influencer marketing. These podcasts not only highlight the latest trends and strategies, but also offer valuable insights from industry experts.

What exactly is a podcast and what does it mean?

Podcasts have become a popular form of digital media, offering a wide range of stories, expert knowledge, and tips that can be created, published, and accessed across a variety of platforms. The term “podcast” is composed of “pod” (from iPod) and “cast” (from broadcast) and refers to the distribution of audio files over the Internet. In German, the term “Podcast” naturally has the same meaning as in English. The term “podcast” has seamlessly integrated into the German language and represents the growth and influence of this digital medium in the German-speaking community.

Podcasts offer a wide range of possible topics and genres and cater to different interests and preferences, including news, interviews, stories such as journalistic research, comedy, educational content, and more. Listeners have the flexibility to consume podcasts through play-on-demand, making them a flexible alternative to traditional radio or television broadcasts. German listeners can enjoy podcasts on various platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts.

The growth of the audio industry

The podcasting industry has seen significant growth in recent years and is expected to continue to grow. It is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6% from 2023 to 2030. According to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the podcasting industry is expected to generate $2 billion in revenue this year and $4 billion by 2024. The report also supports that podcasting is a significant growth area for media companies, as evidenced by Audacy’s 37% growth in the podcasting business. With the podcast industry projected to grow 47% next year, the future of the podcast industry looks promising, even in uncertain economic times.

Several factors are apparent: technological advancements and accessibility, flexibility and convenience, and improved advertising opportunities.

Technological advances have been instrumental in the growth of the podcasting industry. Originally, audio content delivery was limited to media players, computers, and iPods. However, the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices has expanded the accessibility of audio content, making it more readily available to a wider audience. The integration of Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain technologies has improved the overall listening experience. Advanced features such as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), transcription technology, and paid live podcast events have made podcasts more engaging and interactive. Streaming platforms such as Spotify have leveraged streaming media intelligence technology to deliver hyper-contextualized content to their audiences, ensuring relevant and timely content distribution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the growth of the podcast industry in recent years. As people spend more time at home due to travel restrictions, the demand for readily available entertainment content increased. News and media companies launched podcasts dedicated to providing timely updates on the pandemic, meeting the growing need for information and exposure. Podcasting, also called radio on demand, offers listeners the flexibility to listen to pre-recorded digital programs at their convenience. This convenience has contributed to the growth of the market, as listeners can engage in other activities while enjoying their favorite podcasts. The education sector has embraced podcasting as an effective medium for effortless delivery of audio learning resources.

Similar to other formats, advances in advertising technology have enabled advertisers to better target audiences and measure the effectiveness of ad placements. The shift toward dynamically inserted ads and improved targeting methods based on location, age, and gender have led to better results for advertisers and greater monetization opportunities for podcasters (more on that in a moment).

Statistics that show the importance of podcasts

Within the different genres, news and politics had the largest market share in 2022, driven by a significant number of daily listeners. The sports category is expected to grow at an average annual rate of over 29% from 2023 to 2030, driven by the widespread popularity of sports.

In terms of podcast formats, interviews dominated the market in 2022, which are known for their originality and engaging content. Solo podcasts are expected to register the highest CAGR of more than 29% from 2023 to 2030. This format allows individual artists to build a direct relationship with their audience and it offers benefits such as ease of use and low cost.

Geographically, North America accounted for the largest revenue share in 2022, with the United States leading the market. Rapid adoption of new technologies in the region, coupled with a mature audience, contributed to its dominance. Latin America is expected to register the highest CAGR of more than 37% during the forecast period. Given the large Spanish-speaking population in the U.S., Latin America, and Spain, the demand for Spanish podcasts is also expected to increase.

The podcasting market is highly fragmented in this regard, with numerous players offering audiences  different content. Large media companies work with influencers, experts and celebrities are invited into existing formats, or two people join forces to talk about a niche topic. Thus, partnerships and acquisitions are common strategies of major players in the podcasting market. For example, iHeartMedia, Inc. partnered with Interval Presents, a Warner Music Group podcast network, in September 2022 to co-produce a range of shows, from limited series to ongoing weekly podcasts, with the goal of attracting a broader audience.

There is also a growing demand for podcast content in multiple languages, leading major companies to prioritize product launches and expand their portfolios. Spotify, for example, has been actively translating podcasts into multiple languages to appeal to a global audience. Certain podcast genres, such as True Crime and Daily Horoscopes, find listeners around the world.

Looking ahead, the podcasting industry is poised for continued growth and innovation. Advances in technology, including AI, IoT, and blockchain, will continue to enhance the podcasting experience. The availability of diverse content in a variety of genres and formats will appeal to a broader audience. As podcasting becomes increasingly integrated into everyday life, advertisers will explore new ways to engage with audiences while maintaining a positive listening experience. Consequently, an audio identity is important for brands to establish to ensure that they are not only visually recognizable, but audibly known as well.

Free Podcast: How can you make money with audio files?

Podcast advertising is the use of podcasts as a medium for advertising products, services, or companies. This involves placing advertisements within podcast episodes, which are either read aloud by the host or played as pre-recorded messages. Podcast advertising can be done through sponsorship, where companies pay to have their ads placed in podcasts. These ads usually contain information about the product or service, often accompanied by personal experiences of the hosts. They may also include promo codes or discounts that listeners can take advantage of.

Despite evolving monetization opportunities, one of the biggest challenges in the podcasting industry is finding viable economic models. While advertising is the main source of revenue for content creators, traditional advertising methods face resistance from listeners who prefer uninterrupted content consumption. For this reason, podcasters are exploring alternative revenue streams, such as monthly subscriptions that allow consumers to pay per episode or per month.

That said, podcast advertising has proven effective because it is highly memorable and creates strong brand recall. According to the Edison Research Super Listeners 2021 report, podcast ads are the most remembered ad type, with 86% of respondents agreeing. Podcast ads have been shown to generate four times better brand recall than display ads. It also increases awareness of new products or services, as reported by 70% of respondents in a Nielsen survey.

In addition, podcast ads lead to tangible engagement, with 76% of super-listeners responding to podcast ads, according to the Edison report. Unlike ads on platforms like YouTube, podcast ads are less likely to be skipped, with 33% of respondents saying they “never or rarely” skip them. This offers advertisers maximum exposure to a highly engaged audience. Overall, podcast advertising offers a compelling way to effectively reach and engage listeners.

To recap: Podcast advertising works through several categories and methods. The three main categories are standard advertising contracts, affiliate marketing, and branded podcasts.

  • In standard contracts, brands pay for ad space within a podcast, with ads pre-recorded by the brand and inserted in post-production, or with hosts reading spoken ads in their own words, providing more authenticity.
  • In affiliate marketing, podcasters promote a company or service and earn a commission based on the resulting sales or conversions.
  • Branded podcasts focus on creating a complete show related to a company and provide valuable content to build brand reputation and credibility.

Ads can be inserted at various positions within podcast episodes:

  • Pre-roll ads (at the beginning) are typically 15 to 30 seconds long
  • Mid-roll ads (in the middle) are longer and less skippable
  • Post-roll ads (at the end) are similar in length to pre-roll ads

Podcast advertising cost models include.

  • CPM (cost per mile), which is based on impressions or plays per episode
  • CPA (cost per acquisition), where payment is tied to conversions
  • Flat rate, which includes a negotiated fixed fee for advertising

Spotify advertising solutions: advertisers in Germany can now take advantage of Spotify Podcast Ads and Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) on almost all original and exclusive shows. According to Spotify data, 22% of the 320 million usersworldwide listen to podcasts, and the number of podcast listeners on the platform is increasing by almost 100% year-on-year. In Germany, 27% of the population are already podcast listeners. Previously, podcast ads were difficult to measure because they were often subscribed to and downloaded via RSS feeds.

But the trend is now toward streaming, which enables data-driven podcast ads. Spotify Podcast Ads combine the intimacy of traditional podcast ads with the precision and transparency of modern digital marketing methods. LinkedIn and MediaCom were the first partners to benefit from the transparency and detailed campaign reports. Spotify Podcast Ads are available on many original and exclusive shows, and advertisers can book pre-, mid- and post-roll ads. The reach of podcasts on Spotify is growing steadily, especially among younger audiences.

Podcast Charts in Germany for Influencer Marketing (Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify)

Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify are all popular platforms for listening to podcasts, but there are  some differences in terms of features, accessibility and user experience. In short, Google Podcasts is known for its integration with Google services, Apple Podcasts has an extensive catalog and advanced features for iOS users, and Spotify offers a seamless transition between music and podcasts with personalized recommendations. Ultimately, the choice of platform (for publishing and use) depends on personal preference, device compatibility,  desired features, and content library.

1. "Influence!" by Alina Ludwig

The teaser for the podcast says, “Everyone is talking about influencer marketing – but how can brands and organizations really successfully implement the trending topic? I talk to exciting people from the industry every week to explore this question.” Since May 2019, brand strategist Alina Ludwig has been talking in her podcast, for example, with Asfaw Graça, General Manager at Service Plan Bubble, about the development of virtual influencers, with Tim Pritlove, founder of a hosting and forum platform for podcasters, about the origins and success of podcasts, or with influencers like one of Germany’s biggest TikTokers Younes Zarou.

The Cologne native first worked at Denkwerk and Weber Shandwick, and in October 2022 she became the fourth managing director of the Odaline agency (alongside the founding trio Jan König, Marin Curkovic and Nico Combes). She told the online magazine Horizont that agencies need to be perceived as content and digital partners: “Our ambition is to merge the digital world with the brand world – because too often the silos are still considered separately.”

2. OMR Podcast Network

The platform for marketing makers OMR is a key player not only in the German-speaking, but also the entire marketing industry. So it’s hardly surprising that OMR has  jumped on the podcast bandwagon  with three different formats.

The OMR Podcast with Philipp Westermeyer

In this classic one-on-one podcast, OMR founder Philipp Westermeyer hosts personalities from the digital and business world every Wednesday and Sunday and talks to them about “their careers, their recipes for success, and current developments in the world.” At the same time, the platform operates its own podcast company, Podstars. In this way, they want to “bring together makers and marketers and further push the podcast business in Germany.”

Most recently, Westermeyer spoke with soccer player Mario Götze about his investments;  he explores the question of whether sports professionals are the investors of tomorrow. The OMR Podcast also operates with a comprehensive listener activation and can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube and also offers a newsletter for subscription.

OMR Education with Tarek Müller, Andre Alpar, Rolf Hermann & others

The three hosts Tarke Müller, Andre Alpar, and Rolf Hermann regularly invite interesting people from the world of online marketing. That hashtag #askOMR has become OMR Education was an obvious choice. They are also planning to add four new formats: Think with Tarek, #askAndre, OMR Report Special, and OMR Deep Dive “for even more content and specialized knowledge.” Episodes include “Crowdfunding with NFTs with Laura-Marie Geissler,” “Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics – What to do? With Björn Sjut from Finc3” and  “Low Budget Moving Image with Jens Neumann.”

The podcast is produced in collaboration with Podigee, the podcast tech company founded in 2013 by Benjamin Zimmer and Mateusz Sójka. Both founders are specialists in SaaS and big podcast fans, which is why they have developed a “convenient service for demanding and professional media producers who previously had to make do with elaborate self-maintenance solutions for their podcasts.”

The OMR Media Podcast with Pia Frey

Somewhat off the beaten path of our own industry but interesting nonetheless is the OMR Media Podcast hosted by Pia Frey, co-founder of Opinary, “with leading media and influencers about the status quo in the publishing business.Which trends are important, which hypes can you do without, which business models are exciting, how is digital journalism developing and what will become of print?” For example, she discussed  “Who benefits from Twitter chaos? with Martin Fehrensen of Social Media Watchblog,” “How do good headlines go? – with Oliver Michalsky of the ‘Welt’” or “How do you transform a digital brand? with Jakob Wais of Business Insider.” The “OMR Media Podcast” is also produced by Podigee.

3. What's next agencies? by Kim Alexandra Notz.

What is the future of agencies, especially in view of the increasing competition with corporate and IT consultancies, media agencies, and start-ups? How future-proof are  agencies’ business models, their management culture? How are employer branding or customer requirements changing? Kim Alexandra Notz looks into these considerations. She is the CEO of the Hamburg creative agency KNSK and a GWA board member for the department. Her podcast “The Agency Product”  appears every two weeks.  Guests are agency heads, marketing managers, and pitch or HR consultants who share their very own perspective on the topic and their experiences and future forecasts with her  and the listeners. Among them are Nadine Müller-Eckel, CSO of Anomaly and Till Eckel, Co-Founder & CEO of twentyrising, Julia Bubenik Managing Partner at Agentur XY or Alexander Rohwer & Dr. Nicolai Johannsen at OTTO. “What’s next Agencies?” is also produced by Podigee.

4. Social Media Marketing Nerds with Jan Stranghöner, Alexander Boecker & Maren Kaspers

This expert podcast is about ad targeting on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. , illustrated by means of field reports on ad setup, playout, and optimization. The podcast is informative, up-to-date, and well-researched, helping marketers gain insight into many areas of advertising. The podcast, also produced by Podigee, goes from UGC for Social Ads – how to get started right, to Social Advertising 2023: How to get 20% more out of your account, to Marketing in Times of Crisis: Head in the Sand or Step on the Gas?.

5. E-commerce, Why Not?! Tips for your business by Johannes Kliesch and Romy Riffel

The two hosts of “E-Commerce, Why Not?!” give practical tips and talk to experts every Monday who share their professional secrets. What are their success stories, what challenges have they overcome and what have they learned from them? The guests are from the fields of e-commerce, online marketing, Amazon FBA, or even the start-up scene. Sequences include “Start-Up: How important is location for startups? – Alisa from Purelei, Alex from Rosental & Andre from Bitterliebe,” “Ok Boomer: Why it’s wrong to demonize Gen Z – Romy Riffel & Johannes Kliesch” or “30% sales per month: How to crack affiliate marketing as a D2C brand – Betül & Florian from Bedrop.”

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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