Checking the health of the emerging podcast industry at Radiodays Europe, Matt Deegan (Foder Media), Tom Webster (Senior VP, Edison Research USA) and James Cridland (Editor of Podnews.net and radioinfo columnist) examined the vital signs of podcasting in 2019.
The latest results of the multi-year Infinite Dial study show that 70% of Americans understand the term ‘podcast,’ but they don’t really know how to go about getting into podcasts. There has been an increase of about 26%, and a significant increase in the past year, in podcast awareness.
Australia and Canada will also be studied in the Infinite Dial research in future.
The growth in podcasting has been driven by better streaming services and most radio broadcasters making their own content available as podcasts.
James Cridland has been podcasting since 2005, seeing it as an opportunity because podcasts can be accessed anywhere in the world.
Spotify is the number one podcast platform in South America and Central America, but there are many platforms where podcast content can be delivered.
He advises that podcast producers should work with all platforms, but know the pros and cons of each. He believes Apple may become less and less useful unless it makes changes to its landscape. Google is worth using as well, although he noted that the BBC has turned off its podcast feed to Google because the British national broadcaster believes Google is not giving enough in return back to the content originators.
iHeart leads the way in America with a mix of catch-up radio and content, according to Tom Webster. It is free and open source. Revenue that is now coming into the space is changing the landscape.
“The space is still young and there’s a number of ways to monetise it,” said Webster.
He compares podcast advertising with the early days of facebook ads, which were “awful” years ago but have now become more sophisticated. He thinks the same will happen with podcast ads and ad insertion, which he believes will continue to improve.
There are other means of monestising podcasts, including listener funding.“If you are passionate about the content of your podcast, your followers will support you.”
Other key points of interest for podcasters include:
Podcast listening in India has grown over 300% in the last 3 years.
About 4% of Americans are now regularly listening to podcasts.
A recent study has shown that, if a podcast is too long, 21% of listeners will never return
Two thirds of Australians don’t care if the podcast originates from Australia or not. Other countries are cautious and prefer their own locally made productions.
News briefings and flash briefings are worthy of delivering as podcasts.
Podcasts are listened to alone with ear plugs, so they are generally a more intimate experience.
Be aware of the loudness level you use in your podcast. Is is suitable to the listener’s environment, which is usually a smart phone? For example, if it’s too low, then when they receive a message alert, which comes in at higher volume, it could deafen them.