LinkedIn has decided to invest in audio, launching its own pilot podcast network called LinkedIn Podcast Network, which includes 12 in-house shows from the platform’s news team, career influencers and executives in an array of industries.
The ad-supported shows are geared toward the platform’s audience of professionals and students and focus on topics like new tech, the hiring process and mental health.
Among the hosts LinkedIn has tapped for its podcast shows include co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, who will be spearheading a podcast about personal entrepreneurship called The Start-Up of You. Other hosts include Morra Aarons-Mele with The Anxious Achiever show, Rufus Griscom with The Next Big Idea and Winnie Sun with Yes Factor.
The LinkedIn Podcast Network comes on the heels of the success of Hello Monday, a podcast produced by LinkedIn News in which host Jessi Hempel covers the ever-changing nature of work and its impact on people. The shows are ad-supported and Verizon is the initial sponsor.
According to eMarketer, the US leads the world in podcast listenership across every category. In 2021 alone, almost 118 million Americans could be considered to be ‘monthly podcast listeners,’ representing 40 percent of all internet users. The firm’s research predicted that global podcast listeners would reach 424.2 million this year and exceed 500 million in 2024.
The company’s foray into podcasts is part of its ongoing effort to entice professional creators to its platform. It launched an incubator-style Creator Accelerator program and pledged to invest $25 million to help up to 100 US-based creators build their audience and amplify their voice.
It’s also a sign that the future of social platforms might be audio. In July 2021, Facebook launched Live Audio Rooms and podcasts in the US. Around the same time, Instagram added the ability to search for audio within the app’s search tab—making it easier to tap into trends based on music clips—and Twitter opened Spaces, its live audio conversations feature, to all accounts with 600 or more followers on the platform.