Podcasts have been around since the early 2000s. Apple first started supporting podcasts in 2005, yet recently with the proliferation of mobile, we have seen adoption grow at a rapid rate.
According to Edison Research, 26% of the U.S. population now listens to podcasts each month (a more than 2x increase over 2013 levels). Listeners tend to be Millennials and educated with a bachelor or graduate degree. 52% of podcasts are consumed in the car and 40% while walking, making it the perfect companion to a boring commute. Add to that the recent growth in smart speakers from titans like Amazon, Apple, and Google and the mediums for continued growth seems inevitable.
For entrepreneurs, time seems to never be on your side, yet everyone is constantly craving the edge that will help their idea blossom. Luckily podcasts help fill that void by functioning as an efficient way to absorb a lot of information and tackle the multitude of different issues entrepreneurs face in their journeys.
The best part? Podcasts give entrepreneurs unprecedented access to some of the most successful leaders in the industry in a format that feels a bit more raw and authentic compared with typical press interviews. Leaders often divulge personal anecdotes about the early triumphs and struggles of their unicorns. This info is invaluable to entrepreneurs. Not only helping direct the best paths to success, but also reminding others that even the best companies hit road bumps and had dark days.
Here are the top podcasts every tech entrepreneur should tune in to this year:
The a16z podcast, produced by Andreessen Horowitz, offers a goldmine of content for entrepreneurs. Industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers discuss key trends and news in technology. With an armory of existing episodes, it can be difficult to find a place to start. In this case, check out a16z's top podcasts of 2017. From "Cryptocurrencies, App Coins, and Investing in Protocols" to "Build Your Personal Brand", there's never a dull moment.
The Twenty Minute VC
The Twenty Minute VC offers an inside glimpse into the worlds of VC and startup funding. Host Harry Stebbings inspires entrepreneurs by equipping them with tips and tricks required to grow their businesses. The entertaining twice-weekly episodes have featured the likes of Guy Kawasaki, Brad Feld, and Mike Seibel. At 20 minutes long they're easily digestible and can fit into your daily commute. Even if you are not going after venture funding, the guests paint a broad stroke of the technology landscape and the importance of investing in the right ideas and people that will make those ideas a reality.
Research has shown that repeat entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed--due, in large part, to learning from experience. One of the best ways to learn from experience without actually failing yourself is to listen to the other entrepreneurs' stories. Mixergy features host Andrew Warner asking entrepreneurs uncomfortable questions about their startup experience, many of which deal with failure. With more than 1,500 episodes, you're sure to gain some valuable entrepreneurial "street smarts".
This Week in Startups
Host Jason Calacanis has been part tech startup scene since before the first dot-com bubble. As an entrepreneur, notorious angel investor, and author, Calacanis boasts an incredibly impressive network that he is able to tap into for each show. The interviews often show the human side of Silicon Valley and he encourages leaders to tell their stories, including the ups and downs. One of my favorite episodes features Pejman Nozad who started this investing career by literally selling rugs on University Avenue (Palo Alto) to becoming the first investor in unicorns such as Dropbox.
Entrepreneurs On Fire
While it's worthwhile to learn from others' failures, it's also important to learn from others' successes. In Entrepreneurs On Fire host, John Lee Dumas (JLD), chats with some of today's most successful entrepreneurs. With episodes ranging from "The Tim Ferriss Experiment; Behind the scenes of a madman (or genius?) to "Adam Lieb: how he grew his first million-dollar company by the age of 20", there's a reason this is an award-winning podcast.
Breaking Into Startups
The show helps people find the teaching programs for the jobs they want. They also share the secrets entrepreneurs need to know in order to level up in their tech career after they've broken in. A unique aspect of the podcast is that it features inspiring stories of people who broke into tech from non-traditional backgrounds. Some inspiring episodes include Gary Vaynerchuk's discussion outlining how he transitioned from living in a studio apartment in Queens with eight family members to investing into some of the biggest unicorns ( including Facebook, Twitter, and Venmo). Another great episode features Rodney Urquhart discussing his journey from a 16-year-old high school dropout to becoming a senior engineer at Slack.
Podcasts continue to be a great means of continuing to learn even with a busy schedule. As podcast growth climbs, marketers should also take note. Podcasting ad revenue has doubled since 2015, reaching over $220MM a year. It is quickly becoming a new avenue to get your brand out in front of a very desirable audience.