Podcasts were initially the province of amateurs, but have since been embraced by radio stations, newspaper publishers and others looking to distribute content that users can download and listen to at their leisure.
A number of large companies, including General Motors Corp. and Whirlpool Corp., have seized on the popularity of the broadcasts as part of their marketing strategies to tech-savvy consumers. The companies have little to lose podcasts can be created cheaply with little more than a microphone and a computer. Often, the hosts of corporate podcasts are public-relations staffers who are doing double duty.
It’s difficult to draw a direct correlation between podcasts and product sales, but marketing experts said the broadcasts can be useful in building brand awareness.