Big brands like General Electric are starting to cash in on the less exploited medium of digital audio content like podcasts. It is still a relatively unused medium that has space for major brands to find new ways of reaching their target audiences and creating more unique brand exposure. GE’s Head of Media Innovation, Alexa Christon considers audio to be a “total white space” with a lot of room for GE to establish its presence. Podcasting has been rising quickly in popularity as a form of digital media content, and many big brands are hoping that they can establish a foothold in the realm similar to the scramble for branded blogging about 10 years ago. This is particularly important for big brands who don’t necessarily produce content, but still desire a way to captivate its audience with a creative connection.
GE Doubles Down On Podcast Branding
After a season of rising success, General Electric is doubling down on its investment for a much-acclaimed podcast series known as “LifeAfter”. The second season is to be released soon with much anticipation after it reached the number 1 position on the iTunes list. “LifeAfter” will be the continuation of the GE Podcast Theater, which is a development of GE’s radio series from the 1950s. It has drawn the attention of over 5 million listeners and has been awarded multiple Cannes Lions awards since its release late last year. It is unclear what the exact budget allocations will be for the upcoming season, but Christon did comment that GE will be investing to ensure that “each program drives our digital industrial brand.”
The podcast was more experimental than calculated last year, but with such a positive response, GE expects to raise the bar this year. Although GE did not have any specific target goals for the last season, it did keep track of the amount of downloads, subscriber numbers and comments on social media. With an overwhelming following so quickly after its initiation, GE is expecting to continue this push for the next year. They will be using the same metrics to measure their success, but they hope to surpass their level of engagement for this year. Despite the popularity of the GE Podcast Theater, the main purpose of GE’s investment is to push forward the recognition of the GE brand, and General Electric will be continuing to evaluate the value of their investment in relation to the levels of listener engagement.
GE Measures and Responds to its Listeners
GE will use any metric possible to evaluate the level of impact and engagement its programming will be able to have over the next year. However, there is no specific intent to monetize the podcast. GE claims that its main purpose is finding platforms where it can build brand recognition through new forms of marketing. GE wants to provide content that is valuable to its customers in the hopes that they will realize the value of the company in turn.