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One of the selling points for a podcast is the subject material. Is it something specific that we might be looking for, or does it approach the subject from a unique perspective? Oftentimes, the host is the real selling point for listeners. While some podcasts are hosted by household-name celebrities, like Conan O’Brien or Jason Bateman, we also see many influencer podcasts enter this spectrum as they bring their large social media followings along with them as listeners.
Podcasts are growing faster with each passing year. The number of available podcasts, the number of listeners, the time each listener spends, and the diversity of those listeners have increased steadily year by year. Podcasting is a constantly changing frontier, and we want to touch on a few questions before diving into our list of influencer podcasts you should check out.
Why do people go crazy over podcasts?
It turns out there is a scientific explanation behind this. A 2016 study and an explanation by scientist and engineer Titi Shodiya of the Dope Laps Podcast tells us that consuming information, especially in the natural speech form, can activate a part of our brain called the mesolimbic pathway. That is to say that listening to podcasts releases the chemicals in your brain that are responsible for pleasure, thrill, stress-reduction, and other things too; so yes, you can become addicted to podcasts.
On a more personal level, listeners become connected to the host. Host-to-listener relationships can be very intimate, particularly when compared to other media where we get very little access to the creator, such as newspapers, talk shows, and network TV. Additionally, podcasts are viewed as a medium with incredibly high authenticity, made evident by the performance of dynamic and host-read ads. Listeners trust their hosts and are ready to follow their advice on services and products that they use and genuinely recommended.
Hosts Kendall Rae and Josh Thomas in their studio of Mile Higher Podcast
Why are so many creators and influencers making podcasts?
After researching the comments made by influencers and assessing the landscape, I think we can narrow it down to three primary reasons why influencers are starting podcasts.
1. A deeper and more thoughtful connection.
Many influencers have a desire to share their views and feelings past the quicker fare of an Instagram post or YouTube video. These interactions stand out acutely in a multitude of content when consumer attention may be quick and passing. However, influencer podcasts allow the creator to connect with listeners on deeper thoughts such as their journeys, opinions, and causes.
2. Engage in multi-channel influence.
The ability of a creator’s influence to span across platforms can have many benefits. If they were to see an algorithm change or get locked out of an account or rules get updated on one platform, the impact would be less for a creator who has a strong multi-channel presence. Having a following in multiple places would also bring the opportunity for creators to market and partner with brands in all those places.
3. Advancing their status as thought leaders.
When influencers start a podcast, they enter a long-form world where they share experiences and advice in a way that listeners look up to and learn from. These original insights can build an influencer’s credibility and impact. Influencers will build new partnerships and generate new opportunities as they interview guests, explore questions that need to be asked, or even if they are simply musing and having entertaining conversations.
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What makes influencer podcasts successful?
Influencer podcasts start with a built-in audience. When a creator starts a new podcast, they have a space to spread the word about it immediately. Their followership is already tuning in regularly and ready to listen. Even more importantly, that group of followers that comes with them when starting a new podcast already trusts the host.
I cannot stress the value of this enough. It can take a new podcast weeks, months, or longer to develop credibility like this with listeners. But an influencer podcast comes with a community already attached to it. Even on a new platform, they can easily avoid struggles like burnout during the growth process or a learning curve of figuring out how to serve your community. With this foundation already in place, it isn’t hard to understand why influencers turned podcasters have such a high success rate in delivering stellar content and rolling out ad campaigns.
Check out this blog to learn more about the relationship and relatability of influencers.
Top influencer podcasts
1. Impaulsive with Logan Paul
- Apple Podcasts
- 22.8M Followers
Logan Paul on the set of his podcast Impaulsive
We will start with the top of the heap when it comes to influencer podcasts: “Impaulsive”. With guests ranging from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Gary Vaynerchuk to Mike Tyson, Paul and his friends have a good sense for talking with celebrities and making the conversation very relaxed and relevant to their generation of fans. Mostly fun-filled, but with an occasional deeper thought, “Impaulsive” has been successful in attracting active listeners and connecting them with whomever the guest may be.
2. The Good Life with Stevie and Sazan Hendrix
- Apple Podcasts
- Amazon Music
- Stevie Hendrix: 127K followers
- Sazan Hendrix: 1.2M followers
Another interview-style show, but with a very different intention. On “The Good Life”, couple Stevie and Sazan Hendrix create every episode with the goal of helping their listeners be inspired towards positivity and gratitude. They will pull on your heartstrings, make you laugh, and always come away with a life lesson on how listeners can improve their lives just by changing how they think and the small decisions they have control over.
3. Views with David Dobrik and Jason Nash
- Apple Podcasts
- Jason Nash: 3.1M subscribers
- David Dobrik: 18.2M subscribers
These two YouTube superstars came together to make a podcast largely focusing on a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a YouTube star. They often talk about their day and ask each other questions about the how’s and why’s behind the details. Other topics usually include pop culture headlines and their takes on it from their different points in life.
If you are interested in reading more about David Dobrik, check out this article on his influencer journey and net worth.
4. Wild ‘Til 9 with Lauren Riihimaki and Jeremy Lewis
- Apple Podcasts
- Lauren Riihimaki: 8.5M subscribers
- Jeremy Lewis: 152K followers
Hosts Lauren Riihimaki and Jeremy Lewis on the set of their podcast Wild Til 9
This influencer podcast is about relationships: recognizing red flags, working through issues, and what makes relationships in general work. Primarily geared towards newer relationships, Riihimaki and Lewis sometimes approach this from their own relationship, and sometimes through that of a friend they have on the show. They foster a fun environment on the podcast where they are always open and unafraid to call each other out, laugh, and be vulnerable too.
5. Pretty Basic with Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz
- Apple Podcasts
- Alisha Marie: 8M subscribers
- Remi Cruz: 2.5M subscribers
Two best friends, Marie and Cruz, bring you into their lives with this influencer podcast. They cover all sorts of topics and issues. Raising awareness of social issues and mental health became a theme through most of their episodes, stemming from a natural desire to find and give support. When tuning in, you might even feel like you are hanging out on a Saturday afternoon with two best friends.
6. Mile Higher Podcast with Kendall Rae and Josh Thomas
- Apple Podcasts
- Kendall Rae: 3.2M subscribers
- Josh Thomas: 52K followers
When researching influencer podcasts, this one stands out. YouTube star Rae and her husband got together to bring a passion of theirs to life in this true crime/phenomenon/conspiracy themed podcast. Episodes on this show can range anywhere from 50 minutes to over three hours. Rae and Thomas love this show, doing each episode justice as they look at lesser covered media stories or just have an open discussion with a friend about how they view a particular conspiracy theory.
Looking for more podcasts to check out? Here is a list showing 18 of the fastest growing podcasts.
Influencer podcasts are bringing something huge in the way of relationships. They aren’t taking the old path of starting a podcast with impeccable content and then developing connections after. Instead, these hosts take a community-first approach, coming to the table with a multitude of relationships already in place and developing the content to fit the needs and desires of the audiences.
Their ability to offer marketing campaigns in a dynamic and personal way yields performance as we have never seen before because their listeners respond with an enormous amount of trust. And the longer format of a podcast show is creating that relationship and trust, forming even stronger roots as they discuss deeper and more personal topics.