Branded Podcasts – What Are They? (With Examples)

As of January 2024, there are 4,318,424 total podcasts registered. That’s a lot of audio! But inside this statistic is the world of branded podcasts – a marketing channel as old as podcasting itself.

What is a “branded” podcast anyway?

Okay, so all podcasts are technically branded. They’re either a brand in their own right, or the splinter of a legacy broadcaster, or the personal brand of a content creator. But in this context, a branded podcast is one that’s put out by a company as a part of its marketing strategy.

The primary goals of branded podcasts are to build brand awareness, establish authority and expertise, connect with audiences, and drive engagement.

But listen up, budding brand podcaster: this is not an opportunity to peddle your wares.

Audiences really don’t like having their entertainment and free time invaded by yet more selling.

The point here is to create valuable, engaging content, give unique insight – and to show the human side of your company. This is what will encourage audience engagement and interaction, building a sense of community around your brand.

You don’t have to ram the elevator pitch down people’s throats every 5 seconds.

Branded podcasts cover a wide range of topics, from industry trends and educational content to storytelling and entertainment. The most successful branded podcasts double down on giving listeners value over self-promotion, becoming subsidiary entertainment companies on their own.

It’s important for branded podcasts to maintain authenticity and transparency. The content has to align with the brand’s values – but it also has to resonate with the target audience.

The best branded podcast examples

Podcasts are just a medium, a way of getting a message out. And they can be used by a brand in any number of ways: to tell a story, showcase the voices of outsiders and disenfranchised groups – or to control a narrative when things go off the rails.

Just to reiterate – the most successful branded podcasts double down on giving listeners value over self-promotion. And these examples are proof that a great idea can expand a brand into a whole new universe of content.

The Message

General Electric – the US conglomerate that makes everything from jet engines, light bulbs and Hi-Fi speakers to fridges and car parts – also makes a podcast. And it is frequently cited as the best branded podcast. Ever.

The Message is a science fiction, journalistic style podcast where the story unravels through the lens of GE’s technology. It’s utterly riveting stuff that communicates the brand messaging around tech and development. It’s such a hit that a sequel was made: LifeAfter.

Listen to The Message and LifeAfter on Apple Podcasts.

The Sauce

Now defunct, but wow – this was a genius piece of PR by McDonald’s. Well, it was in response to one of their biggest PR blunders of all time, but it still stands as an excellent piece of content and reputation management.

Circa 2018, a certain animated TV show reminded the world that McDonald’s had a short-lived promotional sauce that tied in with the release of Disney’s Mulan. The TV show in question revived interest to such a great extent that McDonald’s was more or less forced to reissue the sauce once again.

What followed was a well-intentioned yet poorly executed rollout that caused riots and unrest across the USA, over a chicken nugget dip.

The Sauce is a limited series journalistic podcast that covers the story from top to tail.

Listen to The Sauce.

TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday)

Shopify is a website builder that lets people sell products online – and they use their podcast, TGIM, as a platform to inspire Shopify’s audience of founders by telling success stories.

The show features loads of influencers, all popular among founders and entrepreneurs, and aims to target an audience set on building their own empires. Of course, Shopify is the platform they’ll be selling on to you – but it’s subtle, and the content far overpowers everything else.

Definitely one for the founders among us.

Listen to TGIM on Spotify.


Sephora is a beauty retailer best known in the US, who launched a multi-channel campaign to promote a new lipstick line – called #LIPSTORIES. One of these channels was a branded podcast of the same name. But this is where the road forks, and marketing blends with a movement.

This is not a show about makeup tips and lipstick promo.

Instead, the show features influential women who are founders, activists, creators and thought leaders – and it became a massive sounding platform for women. It was a huge hit, maintaining what may be the highest rating of any branded podcast series.

Listen to #LIPSTORIES on Apple Podcasts.

Do you need a podcast for your brand?

There’s a podcast for everything. And there’s an audience for everything, too. It’s not all about comedy and superstars, either – and the medium is not “saturated”, contrary to what your cool friends who only listen to vinyl records might say.

We’ve encountered podcasts from an almost unimaginable range of industries – from data centre and IT, to coffee and cooking, to automaking… You name it, there’s a podcast for it – and smart brands are using it as a way to build their authority and perception in their field.

But does your brand need one? If you have something to say about your industry, then absolutely, 100% yes. And chances are, you do have a lot to say about your industry – even if it’s all gripes and groans. If you’re highly experienced and know what you’re doing, there’s an audience out there that will appreciate your wisdom. You’d be doing the world a favour by adding your voice.

And it’s pretty good marketing, too! Check out these stats from, creative agency Overskies:

69% of podcast listeners say that the shows they listen to turn them on to new products. Business podcasts also see a 14% lift in purchase intent from their audiences. It was NPR who discovered that 75% of podcast listeners took action in response to a sponsored message on the shows that they listen to, including branded messaging.”

If you’re ready to start a podcast for your company, let us help you get started…

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