Why podcasts are Singapore’s most influential media channel

Audio is reshaping the Singaporean media landscape for the better

Podcasts have not just become influential; they have become a transformative force that is reshaping where we choose to consume information and how we engage with others and society. 

What makes podcasts so compelling is their accessibility and convenience. In a world where attention is a precious commodity, podcasts call us to listen, learn, and explore without screens. For years I have turned to The Daily or The Intelligence to understand current affairs in the West that affect us, and now the Nikkei Asia Podcast, Channel News Asia’s Heart of the Matter, and Teka Teka News help me do the same for Asia, Singapore and the Philippines. My local bank has a great podcast that I turn to first because they treat it like media, not a sales pitch, and it’s run by a former finance journalist. Comedy, interviews, talk shows – there’s a podcast for that and I can find something globally popular, or home-grown

But it's not just about convenience; it's about the depth and breadth of content, the authenticity and personality. The true magic of podcasts lies in their ability to dive deep into subjects that matter to us. Hosts are often unscripted, unfiltered, and unapologetically themselves. This authenticity forges a unique connection between the host and the listener.

The flexibility of podcasts is another bonus. The ability to consume content on our terms is a game-changer. No more conforming to schedules; podcasts adapt to our lives, not the other way around. This freedom empowers us to curate our own learning experiences and explore topics on our own terms. 

All these elements combine to create an influential media channel that's making a profound impact on Singapore's media landscape.

In Singapore, podcasts are emerging as channels for social discussion. Leaders and change-makers are turning to podcasts to communicate directly with their audiences, bridging the gap between the public and those in power. For example, The Straits Times highlighted how young voters in this year’s Singaporean Presidential Election evaluated the candidates through various online sources, including podcasts. 

The presidential candidates appeared on popular podcasts including The Daily Ketchup and The Financial Coconut, which is so interesting as the campaigns are highly attuned to audiences, and are always looking for that next space where they can engage audiences more effectively.

Singapore's thriving creator economy is also proving to be influential and showing powerful signs for the future. According to Insider Intelligence and eMarketer’s Influencer Marketing 2023 study, influencer and creator marketing are projected to outpace conventional social spending globally. With Singapore boasting 5.08 million social media users as of January 2023, representing 85% of the total population, the potential for podcasts becomes even more intriguing. 

A recent study among Singaporean podcast listeners revealed that podcasts command the highest level of attention (72%) compared to streaming TV and social media platforms. There is an immense opportunity for podcast creators to tap into this audience with exceptionally attentive audio, making them a compelling choice for advertisers in the evolving media landscape. We now get briefs where not only does a brand want a podcast, they have a wishlist of podcasts they want to be on because the data demonstrates that’s where their audience spends time. As a rich melting pot of cultures and a well-known hub for innovation and technology, the diverse array of podcast content can also account for how influential the channel has become. 

It’s clear that the influence of podcasts is not just significant; it's monumental, and it's reshaping the Singaporean media landscape for the better.