Branded podcasts are turning up in droves as podcasting’s star continues to rise. Microsoft’s podcast, “.future,” tells great stories about the intersection of tech and culture with voices from outside the organization, even though the technology spotlighted represents people, ideas, and products from across Microsoft. The podcast has taken first place in the “Content Marketing and Brand Journalism” category of Ragan’s 2017 PR Daily Awards.
The first season of “.future” reached millions of listeners, with a significant number of people subscribing so they wouldn’t miss an episode. The show ranked in Apple’s top 10 tech podcasts throughout the season, reaching as high as No. 3, and attracted coverage from Fast Company and Adweek.
Microsoft conducted a listener survey (a too-frequently overlooked step in assessing a podcast’s success) and found listeners were much more likely to consider Microsoft innovative and have a positive view of the brand overall as a result of listening to the show.
Produced through Gimlet Media—which is behind a lot of successful podcasts—the season included episodes on inclusive design, Minecraft’s popularity, indie game developers and health in the digital age, among other topics. The podcast is a solid example of why brands should consider podcasting as a form of brand journalism to build awareness and influence perceptions among the ever-growing audience of podcast listeners.
Congratulations to producer Steve Wiens.