LONDON — Broadcast specialist group Markettiers4DC has launched a global consultancy to advise brands and their PR agencies on using podcasts as part of communications programmes.

The new consultancy, 4DC, will offer strategic consultancy on the opportunities and value of radio on demand, as well as content development, production and global distribution, with a focus on building audiences and engagement for brands.

The launch comes as the podcast market is going through immense global growth: according to Edison Research there are now an estimated 73 million monthly podcast listeners in the US alone, and the industry in China is estimated to be worth over US$7.3billion. In the UK more than six million people now tune into podcasts every week, double the number listening in 2013.

Markettiers4dc group managing director Peter Mitchell (pictured right, with Markettiers4DC founder Howard Kosky) told the Holmes Report: “We’ve have had so many conversations with clients about whether they should do a podcast, or they feel they should but they’re not sure why, or they’re not sure how to measure the success of a podcast. Front and centre of our proposition is to make sure podcasting is the right thing to do for the brand – just creating audio doesn’t mean people will listen. And we’re also keen on normalising podcasts as another media channel to sell spokespeople into.”

The new service launches with a number of high-profile clients, including Oracle. Chris Talago, vice president PR and communications, EMEA and JAPAC, Oracle, said: “We believe there’s a lot of potential for podcast, not only across the Oracle business but also from a multi-territory perspective. We’ve trialled different approaches to podcast creation and distribution but knew it could deliver so much more value.”

Mitchell also said that the firm’s understanding of different markets would feed into the new offer: “In the US there is a lot of ad revenue from podcasts, as they are well listened to, but the majority are driving entertainment outcomes. In China, audience figures are similar but the revenue is dramatically higher: they work off a subscription model as part of the self-improvement culture. Arabic podcasts are becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East and India, and there’s a lot of opportunity there to bring content up to the level of the quality of UK and US podcasts.”

4DC is the fifth stand-alone specialist arm launched by Markettiers4DC, and will sit alongside the Though the I video production service, market research and insights agency Opinion Matters, broadcast marketers Sound Creative and broadcast PR agency Markettiers.