The Rise of Biotech Podcasts: The New Frontier of Knowledge Discovery

Podcasts have come a long way from their humble beginnings in the 2000s. There are millions of series hosted on different platforms, on every imaginable topic. Many industries now use podcasts as a way to keep people updated and informed on breaking news and emerging technologies. The healthcare and clinical research sectors are no different. Biotech podcasts have been popping up left and right as companies and research institutions use new formats to reach wider audiences.

Podcast Popularity

The name “podcast” emerged in 2004, when Adam Curry and Dave Winer created the “iPodder” so users could download online radio broadcasts onto their Apple iPods. The word is believed to derive from a combination of “iPod” and “broadcast.”

In the mid-2000s, just over 20% of adults in the U.S. had heard of podcasts – a figure that has risen to 79% in 2022. There were over 82 million people listening to podcasts in 2021, and the figure is only rising. 38% of the U.S. population had listened to a podcast in the last month per surveys in 2022, with 53% of listeners identifying as male and the largest age group falling between the ages of 12–34.

Most people report that they listen to podcasts at home, although a significant number also play podcasts in their cars. In 2019, data showed that 22% of podcast listeners played over 22 hours of podcasts in a week. Many of them also listen to more than 10 different shows in a month.

For some other statistics: the average length of a podcast is between 25–30 minutes, although more technical and topic-specific podcasts can reach up to an hour. 73% of podcast listeners prefer using their smartphone to play their shows, versus using a computer or a smart speaker.

Biotech in Podcasts

Many industries are beginning to include digital audio in their content strategy, and biotechnology is no exception. A Veeva Crossix report found a 50% increase in health brands using digital audio from 2020 to 2021. This covers both brands investing in streaming audio channels and purchasing audio inventory.

TV and digital marketing still dominate the strategies for health brands, but the interest of pharmaceutical and biotech companies in audio formats has been surging alongside the general popularity of podcasts. With more and more people listening to podcasts as a form of entertainment or a way to learn new things, pharma, and biotech companies must now diversify their media formats.

One challenge that these companies face, though, is the lack of creative assets that will allow them to fully invest in this opportunity. Pharma and biotech companies cannot simply reformat their existing marketing strategies into audio format, since podcasts have a unique “conversational” aspect to them.

Benefits of Podcasts in Biotech

Despite the challenges, though, there are several benefits to biotech companies using podcasts as a marketing tool. It’s an enjoyable, accessible, and easily-digestible format that gives a platform to different professionals within the industry, such as investors, executives, and researchers. This allows people to engage with a variety of perspectives and opinions on issues and innovations within the biotech industry. More perspectives mean people learn more information with more nuance.

Moreover, since podcasts are generally free for listeners and are playable on the go, they’re more convenient for professionals in the industry. Researchers and executives can play them at home, in the car, or while out running – so long as they have a device and internet access. It makes disseminating news and information much more efficient, since there’s one more format for people to receive that information besides scientific journals and websites.

Podcasts also allow professionals to expand their knowledge base in a different way from simply reading an academic article. Papers and studies simply present straightforward information, while podcasts allow for comprehensive back-and-forth discussions. Speakers can expand on topics they might not have done in papers, or can touch on related information that might not make it into an article.

Different Biotech Podcasts to Play

There are dozens of biotech podcasts related to the industry, covering topics from regulation and legislation to medical breakthroughs. Here are 3 that you should be listening to in 2023 to keep up with biotech news.


The Biotech2050 podcast talks about technologies and innovations that disrupt the biotech industry or could transform it in the next half-century. Biotech2050 recognizes that everything changes and evolves with time. In each episode, they talk to pioneers at the forefront of the biotech revolution and explore the advancements that shape the landscape of biotech’s future.

The Business of Biotech

While scientific discoveries frequently take the limelight in biotech, business and administration form a significant foundation. The Business of Biotech hosts different executives, founders, and researchers to discuss everything from industry best practices to common regulatory obstacles. In an hour or less, the podcast provides insights and opinions on funding, manufacturing, and legislation in the biotech industry.

First In Human

Vial’s First In Human podcast hosts different industry experts, executives, and investors to talk about their personal and professional insights into in-human clinical trials. The show covers everything from breaking news to emerging technologies, including breakthroughs in treating rare diseases or new strategies for executing clinical studies.

Podcasts: Biotech On the Go

Podcasts are growing in popularity as a way to keep up with news and breakthroughs in the healthcare, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. They’re an accessible and easily digestible format for everyone from start-up founders to clinical researchers, allowing them to listen to different perspectives and discussions wherever they are – at home, in a car, or on the go.

First In Human is just one of Vial’s initiatives to change the landscape of clinical research. As a next-generation CRO, Vial reimagines and transforms clinical trials through technological innovations and quality services. Our team of ClinOps and technology experts deliver faster and more efficient results at costs affordable for biotech sponsors.

Partner with Vial today for your clinical trial solutions.

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