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The McPod: Are Branded Podcasts the Next Big Thing?

It was only a matter of time before brands jumped aboard the podcast train, creating ads people actually want to listen to.

Podcasts have experienced a boom in popularity this year, with an increase of 20 million weekly listeners. According to the New York Times, nearly half of the people in the United States have listened to at least one podcast. The explosively popular true-crime podcast Serial revolutionized the genre, leading to a number of copycats, one of which was McDonald’s.

If there is an opportunity for successful marketing, brands will find it. Last year, McDonald’s released “The Sauce”, a three-episode investigative podcast that was meant to dive into the company’s Szechuan sauce debacle. In a stroke of marketing genius, McDonald’s beat other podcasters to the punch, leading to a viral, entertaining increase in brand awareness and followers. In fact, within a day of its release, “The Sauce” broke into the iTunes top-100 podcast chart. 

Many brands in the fitness and wellness segment are also getting into podcasting, bringing their self-help and motivation skills into the listener’s ears. Morgan Kline, the founder of Burn Boot Camp, hosts a podcast named Coffee & Kettlebells to discuss hot topics in nutrition, fitness, health and self-love. 

Of course, there are also plenty of unbranded podcasts that feature in-depth analysis of the branded, franchising world, including 1851’s very own Live to Tell podcast

Before you know it, your favorite pizza chain may be providing the entertainment for your daily commute.

To read the recent New York Times article on the subject, click here.