It’s Time to Grow Your Podcast Audience with Android

Let’s talk about the Android platform in our digital space. If you want to double, triple or quadruple your audience, you need to be paying attention to the hundreds of millions of Android users that are waiting to be your next listeners.

In October 2004 when I recorded my first podcast, there were only a small number of devices with which to sync a podcast. Mobile devices only had rudimentary Internet connectivity. The iPod was new and the iPhone was still three years away. Yet in July of 2005, Apple had the foresight to build podcasting into iTunes.

This was great! We could sync our podcast content by hooking up a cable; iTunes would load our subscribed podcast to the iPod. We podcasters thought at the time that we had gained mainstream acceptance. But in July of 2005, independent innovation largely stopped, and over time, podcast directories were largely abandoned. The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 changed the world and caused the already Mac-heavy creation community to largely ignore everything but iOS.

Ten years later Apple still dominates the podcasting audience share, which is great for Apple but handicaps content creators looking to build their podcast audiences because other devices are largely ignored.

The Apple podcasting team has done a great job of promoting podcasts and highlighting popular shows by featuring them. Yet, podcasters crave — and need to — be featured in new and noteworthy mediums. Had independent innovation not slacked off in July 2005 and subsequently died, the landscape would be much different.

Many potential listeners out there do not own an iOS device. Many have an Android device or two and/or a Windows Phone. For now, let’s focus on Android: In our latest release of PowerPress, we have helped podcasters kick start audience growth on the Android by adding the ability to create a subscribe page. You can read about it here. On the page, we include the links for iOS as well free Android app recommendations and instructions on how to subscribe to the show.

So why am I harping on Android? Well Angelo Mandato, RawVoice CIO and the man behind PowerPress and our Podcasting Stats platform, sat down with his analysis tools and some statistical spreadsheets to plot out some potentials:

With Android doing dismally in Podcast Audience Share (10 percent to 12 percent) it is obvious that there is huge potential for audience growth. According to IDC, Android dominates with 84.4 percent of the worldwide smartphone market share. The U.S.-based market share is likely closer to 50 percent. With Android listeners only making up a small portion of the overall listener pool, content creators could easily double the number of listeners from the Android platform.

With that many prospective listeners out there and most shows only expecting incremental Apple listener growth, we all have to focus on building the Android listener base. By providing uniform subscription instructions via the PowerPress subscribe page and subscribe sidebar widget. The tens of thousands of PowerPress users can help move the bar as a collective. My No. 1 goal this year is to help podcasters gain Android market share.

On a side note, having just completed my team’s annual winter retreat, and actually putting the final touches on this piece at the United Lounge at O’Hare, I can say the roadmap for 2015 is going to be incredible, and I cannot wait to share with you what’s coming.

Meanwhile, go get those Android listeners.