“Rollercoaster” For Podcasts on The Way
Podcasting is facing challenges in 2023, but there is still plenty to be positive about.
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I love podcasts, as I am sure many of you do. I listen to a whole range of them. There is so much out there. Indeed, it often feels like everyone has a podcast. (I’m a fine one to talk - I host two. “The Addition Podcast” and the recently relaunched “House of Comments”, a show about UK politics that I co-host with.) The medium has gone from being a bit weird and unknown not all that long ago to getting huge listener figures and selling out venues for live recordings.
Despite this, some industry watchers have worries for the year ahead. Nick Quah of Vulture wrote:
The general consensus is that the exorbitant spending of the past four years, particularly by the bigger companies like Spotify and iHeartMedia, will finally be properly scrutinized — and possibly come to an end.
He did though say he was bullish “over the long term”.
Not surprisingly, I am in the positive camp. YouGov’s Global Media Whitepaper 2022 found that 61% of global respondents listened to podcasts in the last 12 month and 17% of those thought that they were going to increase their listening in the next year. Of those that had listened to podcasts in the last 12 months, 76% of them were aged 25-34, a very appealing demographic for advertisers.
The advertising market will be interesting to watch. Despite the global financial strains, podcasts still offer a fantastic, intimate way for brands to connect directly with an audience. (If you are involved in marketing/ad buying for such a brand do get in touch. I’d love for you to hear more about advertising with The Addition!)
Bryan Barletta of Sounds Profitable noted:
Podcasting is mainstream now, and in a world that demands massive growth and profits year over year, it’s incredibly easy to dismiss any form of success that falls short of unicorn status.
That article also offers a great round up of all the acquisitions in the industry that took place in 2022. They may indicate an industry that is growing up and consolidating, but they don’t appear to indicate an industry that is on the way down any time soon.
Whatever you think, there is undoubtedly some uncertainty in the industry. Willard Foxton, Creative Director, Development at podcast company Novel told The Addition:
The current podcast industry has never really been through a recession before, so the truth is nobody knows what will happen next. It could be like the cinema - people love entertainment in dark times, so film receipts are always up in a downturn. On the other hand, so much of the audio industry is ad funded, so that could all fall apart in a proper slump. It's a rollercoaster coming, to be sure.
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