How Important is Personality-Driven Content for Podcasting Success?

With an exponential rise in the popularity and production of podcasts – particularly over the past few years – it wouldn’t be wrong to deem podcasts the in-vogue content medium for hobbyists and brands alike. Despite their rather sudden popularity in recent years, though, with a staggering 104 million regular podcast listeners in the U.S. according to Buzzsprout statistics, not all podcasts achieve great numbers. How much of that has to do with the content topic itself versus other more esoteric aspects of producing a podcast? How much of a role does personality-driven content play in podcasting success?

If top podcasts by listens are any indication, personality-driven content matters a lot. A 2021 Nielsen report found that some of the most popular podcast genres include music, true crime, news and comedy. When looking at the top podcasts in each of those genres, shows like Armchair Expert, Ted Talks Daily, Serial, and The Joe Rogan Experience all dominate their field. All of those shows, in some form or fashion, rely on a quality host whose personality shines through the whole show and acts as a connective tissue for the variety of content, narrative pacing, and factual updates.

Conor Conaboy – a multi-faceted creative and founder of Mudita Creative – is a strong supporter of the personality side of podcasts. He believes that personality has a profound impact when it comes to the success of a podcast. At least anecdotally, today’s top podcasts match that standard. Creators who add personality and humor to their productions generally tend to gain more views (and, by extension, more followers) in comparison to creators that base their content entirely on information and facts, or rely too much on the intrigue of their content topic. Personality-driven content for podcasting is now considered a key factor that plays a part in the success of hours-long podcasts gaining large numbers of views.

Here’s what Conaboy believes with regard to podcasts and the correlation between personality and the podcast’s success.

Conor’s Thoughts

“You’re starting to see content not rely as much on the idea in the spectacle, and you’re starting to see more personality come through. So with podcasts, you’re actually podcasting is a little bit different cuz podcasts get a little bit shorter, but the personality-driven podcasts are always gonna be more successful than just an informational-based podcast.

People wanna listen to people they like, and especially when you’re talking about video, you need to add depth to what you’re doing to be able to build an audience. So on the YouTube side, you’re looking at creators who are relying less on the spectacle, go-go-go high-production, high-octane content and they’re starting to slow things down and bring more of their personality into it. And you’re developing a better relationship with your audience because of that. The audience isn’t just going to be tied to the content; they’re starting to get tied to you and your personality and watch whatever you do because of you, not because of the content you’re making.”


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