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LinkedIn partners with Verizon to enter the podcasting arena

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By Webb Wright | Junior Reporter

February 23, 2022 | 4 min read

The podcast industry is booming, and LinkedIn wants a seat at the table. Today, the social media giant announces the launch of the LinkedIn Podcast Network, a new suite of in-platform features that aims to expand the conversation between podcast creators and listeners.

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The podcast industry is booming

Video may have killed the radio star, but in recent years audio-based entertainment is making a comeback in the form of podcasts. Today, LinkedIn has announced that it’s getting in on the podcast gold rush by launching the LinkedIn Podcast Network. News of the launch arrives during a moment of steep growth both for LinkedIn and the podcast industry.

The LinkedIn Podcast Network – an “advertiser-supported pilot program” created in partnership with Verizon – aims to transform podcasting into a more community-oriented industry. Blending the growing mass appeal of podcasts with its platform’s expansive and dynamic networking capabilities, LinkedIn hopes to make it easier for listeners to engage with creators, and vice versa. For example, the Podcast Network will enable creators to share additional content with listeners “through posts, videos, newsletters, LinkedIn Live events and more.” Fans, for their part, can follow – or opt-in for regular updates from – their favorite podcast creators.

“We launched the LinkedIn Podcast Network to offer members a new way to engage with content on our platform while giving creators the ability to build communities based on their podcasts,” says Gyanda Sachdeva, vice-president of product management at LinkedIn. “On the heels of the 43% year-on-year growth of our advertising business, we are also continuously developing and testing new ways to deliver unique value to our customers. The LinkedIn Podcast Network offers customers, like presenting sponsor Verizon, a first-to-market opportunity to foster connections, serve engaging content to new audiences and maximize their [advertising] investments on LinkedIn.”

LinkedIn has partnered with a coterie of well-known podcast producers for its pilot program, including Morra Aarons-Mele, Jonathan Fields, Mita Mallick and Dee C Marshall. The company also says that “shows created in-house by LinkedIn News” will also be available to listeners.

The advent of streaming services and the proliferation of production equipment has led to a massive boom in podcasting in recent years. According to data from Statista, only about 22% of US adults were aware of podcasts back in 2006 – that number spiked to roughly 78% in 2021. A recent report, furthermore, found that the global podcasting industry could be worth as much as $94.88bn by 2028. Spotify – the most popular podcast streaming service in the US, according to Statista – recently struck a deal reportedly worth $100m with Joe Rogan to become the sole streaming service for his uber-popular podcast (which may prove to be more trouble than it was worth). Given those figures, it makes sense why a massive social media platform such as LinkedIn would want to get in on the craze.

“The launch of the LinkedIn Podcast Network reinforces our mission to bring our more than 810 million members original content and new ways to connect with their community,” says Sachdeva. “We’re excited about podcast industry momentum, and [are] always working to test and advance tools, like Newsletters and Audio Events, to help creators connect with advertisers.”

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