Since the beginning of the year, the podcast landscape in Taiwan has been flourishing, with a new wave of programmes sprouting up across the island. Young podcasters have made bold innovations in their recordings as the mainstream media outlets weighed in. The new media phenomenon has even caught the attention of traditional journalism awards, with new audio and voice-recording categories added to the academies. Podcasts have now become a new favourite in its media industry - and it is supported by numbers.
One in three people in Taiwan regularly listen to podcasts, according to a 2019 report
published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. "Podcasts" is also among the top google search term, based on data shown by Google Trend
, a local podcast hosting service, reported a surge of Chinese-language programmes by 2100% in the first half of this year.
Telum Media recently caught up with four popular podcasters who shared their views on the trends and how public relations professionals can make good use of the emerging media format. Fuelling Growth: Freedom of speech and diversified cultures
Freedom of speech may help nourish new ideas as podcasters tried out different genres and content, according to veteran podcaster Mario. The Co-founder and Chief Content Officer at The News Lens
, Mario hosts Drink with Mario
, a three-year-old programme that has listeners from the United States, Europe and Asia. He thought that podcast in Taiwan was on the track to the Early Majority from the Early Adopter, which has not gone mainstream. "There's still a lot of room for it to grow and we expect to see more interesting content. Many netizens know what podcasts are but they are still exploring what to listen to and how they would like to do it."
Kyle Chen, the Director at Meet Startup
also has a similar thought. While the ease of creating a podcast may have spurred growth, it is also Taiwan's cultural tolerance which has played a key role in facilitating content generation, he said. "A diversified culture and respect for civil liberties, coupled with a multilingual population accustomed to various dialects, are all seeds for creativity," he said. His organisation Meet Startup
, a brand with a focus on startups under Business Next
, has launched two podcasts, Voices of Startup
and Silicon Valley Insight
, so far this year.Accompanied Voices
As for online media Queerology
which focuses on the gender issue, podcasts are a useful tool for engaging with its audience alongside written content. "We hope to continuously discuss various topics related to LGBTQ and social issues, and through diversified ways of discourse, accompanying anyone who needs support," its Editor-in-Chief Nana said. "There are still people who haven't developed a habit of listening to podcasts. We hope to reach out to those who may be interested in gender and social issues, or those who may not be as aware. We want them to know more about us via listening in," she said.INCG Solution Guide
's Editor and Podcaster Justine Chou said their editorial team found out apart from its informative nature, podcasts also often make listeners relaxed. "Voices and words have their own enchantment. Podcasts are a useful tool for audience engagement as listening to someone feels more real," she said.Collaboration with podcasters
While different media outlets are still experimenting with their own models with podcasts, they are reaping benefits in multiple aspects. "It has been indicated by research that consumers are more willing to listen to advertisements during a podcast," Mario said. He added as listeners can always go back to previous shows, the impact could be longer-lasting.
Nana thinks more studies can be done to investigate audience behaviour while listening to a podcast. "I think we could try and find out what audiences are doing while listening, so as to better formulate public relation and advertising strategies," she said. She added podcasts tend to develop a more loyal audience as listeners often click on the same show again.
On tips for how to engage with podcasters, Justine suggested that PRs should first understand the content and style of a podcast before matching them with the features of their brands. Also, taking a look at the social media communities operated by a particular podcaster could provide more understanding of a particular programme.