Once it was a slogan of the streaming platform Spotify. After all, not every consumer wants to stare at the smartphone all day. So, it makes sense to consume the latest news or entertainment as a podcast. The number of users is highly different depending on the country. While podcasts are on the rise in Asia and the USA, some countries are more reluctant to this type of medium. A new study shows that only one in three Germans has heard a podcast once in their life. Only 15% describe themselves as active podcast listeners. But a much more impressive fact is that the pace at which this number is increasing. There still is plenty of growth potential as the market is far from saturated and especially the past year has given the podcast scene a new boost.
That will undoubtedly continue to change and become even more professional. The prominent players in the market are Spotify and Apple. This year they will do everything they can to further expansion of their market shares. But many other platforms are entering the scene and want to secure their share of the cake. New big players may soon join the podcast business. Among newcomes there are platforms like Facebook which have a lot of users and can bring them in through targeted advertising.
The Focus on Monetization
The increasing professionalization and commercialization also mean that the quality improves more and more. The competition grows, and so does the pressure. If you want to stand out from the crowd of podcasts, you have to be able to offer something unique. Recently, the demand for good storytelling has increased. The pure interview formats are declining. But storytelling requires more budget and therefore professional providers are preferred.
Apple is one step ahead as usual and the company is in the process of monetizing their production of podcasts. Of course, Apple also involves those who produce the podcasts, but bigger part of the income will probably stay with Apple again. The industry is looking for a suitable revenue model. The listeners may soon have to pay for individual episodes as producers already develop corresponding subscription models. But that does not mean the advertising will no longer play a role.
Traditionally, podcast listeners are more open to advertising than audiences in other media formats. The listeners accept this as long as the producers do it with common sense. If it is possible to achieve significant sales here, this would be an excellent way to prevent subscription models. The monetization of old texts is already a big issue in the industry. If they could transform writing into audio automatically, this would lead to recycling of old texts. The costs for this would be comparatively low.
The interactivity between producers and listeners of podcasts will increase. Podcasts are thus approaching the radio rapidly. Spotify has been experimenting with it for a long time. For example, polls are built into the podcasts and they allow producers to get to know their listeners better and adapt their content. You can see this in the increased interaction and involvement through live podcasts and Q&A sessions. These trends will shape and change podcasts over the next few years. The end of the boom is not yet in sight.