Listen Notes data shows new podcast creation stalling

ABCTV made a funny, tongue in cheek video in the midst of the pandemic and lockdowns advising people to stop making podcasts because they had nothing better to do. The video is unavailable now sadly, as is, according to recent Listen Notes data, the will and time to create new audio products.

The most recent Australian Podcast Ranker, which now comes out every month, showed for the first time two Australian made podcasts getting a million monthly listeners. Podcast and audio listening, as evidenced in the recent Infinite Dial Australia Study continues to grow.

The creation of new podcasts however has stalled. I can literally hear some of you saying, “Thank god!”

In my podcast travels I met a woman called Chery Gladman who runs the Great Australian Pods Podcast Directory. This directory includes podcasts with at least one Australian host and/or made in Australia, are free to access in an audio format and must have at least two episodes (including a recent one) to be considered for inclusion. The collation of podcasts is largely a labour of love for Chery. In her experience, after the pre hype and launch, around half never make that second episode.

This is my experience too. In podcast classes, if I have ten attendees, three will actually make their podcast, two will get as far as what I call the “seventh episode itch” and only one will continue their product from there.

One of my students actually emailed me, all in capital letters, when he released his 8th episode. The irony isn’t lost on me as my own podcast TACT, funded via a small YWCA and Beyond Bank grant, did seven actual episodes before I knew that I no longer had the time and investment to keep it going.

That’s also why I recommend students check out eBay and podcast sites for “only used once” recording gear.

Listen Notes, a podcast search engine, estimates that there are more than 3 million podcasts with near 170 million episodes in the world.

This data shows, after the not altogether unexpected high of a million new podcasts in 2020, 2022 saw only a quarter of that number. The market is tougher, and people don’t have the time anymore to make them for “fun’.

There’s a lot of other interesting statistics in this data about podcast genres, locations and platforms too.

This though is the last graph that I’m still mentally evaluating.

In 2020 and 2021 more than 1.2 podcasts ceased to be. Quite possibly they never really were. In 2022, only 300K, still a substantial number but less than half the previous two years, stopping producing episodes and became what they call a dead podcast.

Based on experience I feel that 2022 was the rise of what I’ll call the business podcast, as organisations and companies pivoted to include an audio component in their assets.

In 2023, and we’re only halfway in, the number of drop offs is already near 600K and may even crack the million mark. This time, I think, due to the previously mentioned seventh episode itch. Businesses appreciate the product but the upkeep financially isn’t worth the time.

Jen Seyderhelm is a writer and editor for Radioinfo
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