Business Podcasts Raise Purchasing Intent 14%, Study Indicates

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I can't tell you the number of conversations I've had lately where someone recommends a podcast to me—The Weeds, The Moth, My Favorite Murder, Slate Political Gabfest. And the numbers back this up. According to Nielsen, the number of avid podcast fans has risen from 13 million in the fall of 2016 to 16 million in the same period of 2017 in the U.S.

But more importantly for SIPA member interests, business podcasts raise purchasing intent by 14%, the most of any topic. News and politics is next at 12.8%. Writes FIPP, the global media association, "Any publisher who hasn't yet got a podcast on site should seriously think about getting one up; it might prove lucrative."

Harvard Business Review has launched two podcasts recently: Dear HBR, with two editors and one expert, answers workplace questions submitted by HBR's audience; and The Women at Work, a six-episode series that discusses and untangles workplace issues. "The response to it has been tremendous," said Maureen Hoch, editor of "For us, it's been a great sign... that we're reaching a female audience."

Here are some current podcasts among SIPA members. After listening to a few of these excellent shows, I will put in an official plug for more female hosts:

Access Intelligence's The POWER Podcast covers business and technology for the global generation industry. It seems to be weekly, and recent titles include Diversification Key for TVA, Concentric Power Cogeneration and The Nuclear Power Conundrum. They vary in length from 4 to 30 minutes.

EB Medicine has EMplify, the Emergency Medicine podcast. "Join hosts Jeff Nusbaum, MD, and Nachi Gupta, MD on this episode of EMplify as they take you through the March 2018 issue of Emergency Medicine Practice: Emergency Department Management of Smoke Inhalation Injuries in Adults." It's an effective way to drive home the value of your content, which is only available here by subscription or free trial.

Another Access Intelligence podcast is Rotor & Wing International's Rotorcraft Collective Podcast. Their intro says, "You may be a regular reader of the Rotorcraft Collective newsletter. Now the Rotorcraft Collective Podcast will expand our coverage of vertical-flight business intelligence and discuss the latest impacts of the industry on your operations and business."

BLR has HR Works: The Podcast for Human Resources. HR Works, which has been running since February 2016, was created by BLR's Christopher Ceplenski, managing editor of, and Stephen D. Bruce, the managing editor of BLR's media team. Its mission is to provide clear, relevant, actionable information on topics that matter to HR professions.

PE Hub Network has a monthly podcast it calls PE Hub Podcast. "Hosts Chris Witkowsky and Sam Sutton discuss what LPs should be thinking about with storm clouds on the horizon and deal prices cresting." I like that they tell you the minute mark where another topic—Sequoia Capital—starts. There's no music but some quick early banter and an update of upcoming events. (One event speaker will be David Rubenstein from The Carlyle Group who I just heard on a Freakanomics podcast. He will also be interviewed for this podcast.)

Spidell Publishing's weekly California Minute podcast often promotes upcoming seminars on a topic related to the podcast, offering a discount for anyone listening. I love their opening music and am pleased to hear Kathryn Zdan as the very smooth host. The most recent show took place Jan. 26—they take a break for their busy tax season. Their podcasts are shorter, 3-5 minutes, a perfect example that you don't have to be long to be effective. Just do it, as some other company once said.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…