Deloitte suggests podcasting growth ahead

It is perhaps a return to ways of old.

Vinyl revenue grew by 8% in 2018. Print book markets expanded as newspapers and magazines sales contracted and the audiobook market in the UK alone was worth around US $85 million.

The costs of producing audiobooks and podcasts are enticing too, with the removal of printing costs and reduction in advances and promotion. Indeed, the biggest cost is time.

Podcast audio quality has meant a financial gap between them and audio books. But, those with higher production qualities are becoming more discerning about the frequency with which they release their episodes. Interview style podcasts, trying to enter an already flooded market, can simply cease to provide new content, a process called “podfader”.

Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Insights 2020 report suggests that this time, perhaps, the radio industry should be worried. 90% of US podcast devotees also listened to the radio but listening time is declining, down nearly 4% year over year. The steepest decline was in the under 50s.

Given that it was thought that self-driving cars might be the “video” that killed the radio star, it is also notable that two thirds of out of home podcast and/or audio book listening occurs in a vehicle.

Reaching $1 billion in revenue is still barely a blip in the US media landscape but, if growth of 25 and 30% per year respectively for audio books and podcasting continues, they can become significant players. For that to occur podcasting needs better regulation and monetising structures. While there are so many free options, it will be as hard for podcasts to obtain funding as online newspapers are finding, now people don’t pay for them over the counter.

View the full report here.