by Emily Goodell
Whitworth F.M. should create a downloadable podcast that students would be able to use offline from their mobile devices. Podcasts are increasingly popular in the United States and are becoming the future of radio. Downloadable podcasts are an easy, convenient ways to listen to radio programs or music on your mobile device, anywhere you find yourself. Whitworth F.M. is losing out on a large group of potential listeners by not having joining the podcast community. Podcasts are on the rise and Whitworth F.M. should follow suit.
POPULARITY OF PODCASTS
According to Pew Research Center, one-third of Americans listen to a podcast, and that number is steadily growing. NPR podcast downloads have increased from 37,965,370 in 2013 to 53,536,068 in 2014.
Podcasts are the future of radio. According to Forbes contributor Dorie Clark, everyone will listen to podcasts in the future. Clark notes that because of the increase in internet connectivity being programmed into cars, by the year 2025 everyone will have internet in their car and subsequently, will be listening to podcasts.
Some may argue that podcasts only appeal to an older demographic of people, however this belief is untrue. According to a study done by Edison Research in 2015, 18-34 year olds make up 27 percent of podcast listeners, and with podcasts like Serial coming into the market, this number is subject to inflate.
That means that college students, Whitworth F.M.’s chief demographic, are already listening to podcasts. They like podcasts. They want podcasts. Whitworth F.M. should break into this market.
PODCASTS ON MOBILE DEVICES
Whitworth FM as is, is an online streaming radio. They do not have a mobile application or compatibility with a mobile browser. That means that the only way to listen to Whitworth F.M. is to listen from a computer. If you don’t have access to the computer, you can’t listen.
This is problematic because key listeners are being lost due to inaccessibility. Edison research found that two- thirds of podcast consumers listen on a mobile device. That means that mobile device compatibility is necessary for a growing audience.
IMPLICATIONS FOR WHITWORTH FM
I’m not advocating that they should switch to podcasts only. There’s still a lot of value in online music radio streaming. Pandora and NPR have seen great success in online streaming.
Podcasts would just be another way to allow students to have their voice heard. According to a survey by Pearson, 83 percent of college students own a smartphone. That’s 83 percent of the Whitworth population that could be reached by having a podcast.
The students of Whitworth F.M. have a voice, a voice that needs to and deserves to be heard. Not having a podcast is restricting them from being able to access the amount of listeners that would love to listen to those voices with a podcast.
For Whitworth F.M., a podcast would mean better access to students listeners who could listen to podcasts anytime. It would distribute the wonderful content of Whitworth F.M. to students across campus whenever, wherever.