What happens in the audio podcast market

    Five years have passed since the premiere of Serial - the first truly massive podcast. Since then, the format has gained unexpected popularity. The Apple Podcasts catalog has over 550,000 active broadcasts. More than half of the US population is familiar with the term podcast, and almost a third listen to them regularly. Even the heroes of TV shows actively master this medium, and even actors, politicians and well-known entrepreneurs take part in podcasts. The ecosystem around the podcasts is also ripe - to create your program more than ever easy.

    We tell how this situation has developed, and we will help you to navigate the podcast market.

    Photo m1try / CC BY-NC-SA

    Podcast as a new type of media

    Podcasting has grown out of a long tradition on radio. A significant number of popular podcasts so far are Internet versions of broadcasts. Such hits as This American Life, Radiolab and the familiar “Aerostat” Russian audience are produced by teams of professionals and become available for download only after the radio broadcast.

    Digitizing the format has changed what types of content are available and how we approach them. Its portability has identified a number of new approaches that are unthinkable in broadcasting.

    A radio listener is forced to adjust his schedule to the schedule of a particular station’s broadcasts in order not to miss his favorite program. Now, people listen to podcasts when they are comfortable: in transport, in the gym, on a walk, during monotonous work - in all situations when it is inconvenient to focus on visual content.

    Today, any podcast, regardless of the time of its publication, is a full-fledged fighter for your individual prime time. It all depends on your choice and interests.

    Radio content may suffer from the broadcast schedule. In order for the broadcast to go on the air, it must be completed before the deadline, even if it has a bad effect on the content. Moreover, each episode should correspond to the length of the slot reserved for it. Podcasters can afford as long (or short) episodes as their idea requires. If something needs to be worked out, being late for a couple of hours or even a day will not be a disaster.
    Thanks to these factors, new types of conversational content have become possible.
    Conceptual projects are one of the reasons why people pay attention to podcasts. Since there is no link to a specific schedule, and the material is available indefinitely after publication, you can publish serious documentary work in podcast format. For example, the S-Town podcast , describing the mysterious life of a lone watchmaker from Alabama, was released in 2017 and is still in the iTunes charts.

    The reverse is also true. There are programs, issues of which often last more than an hour . They are also popular. People listen to them because they like immediacy. To create such a transfer, it is not necessary to be a professional. Enough to be interesting or to invite interesting guests.

    Anyone can create a podcast, and more than 350 new broadcasts are added daily to the Apple Podcasts catalog. Among them are podcasts of companies that use this medium to train an audience. We are no exception (our sound podcast ).

    Podcast niche situation

    To appreciate the popularity of the format, you should look at the associated advertising market. If you're an active podcast listener, you probably know the names Mailchimp, Squarespace, and Audible. These brands invested in podcasts in the early 2010s, thanks to which they acquired the current recognition. And more and more companies follow in their footsteps.

    At the time of the release of the first Serial release (December 2015), the podcast market was estimated at $ 70 million. In two years, this figure has more than quadrupled , taking analysts by surprise. It is expected that by 2020 it will overcome the mark of $ 600 million. Advertising in podcasts is effective , especially considering that it is 10 times cheaperradio advertising. More advertisers - well-fed presenters - more interesting podcasts.

    All this undoubtedly attracts the attention of technological giants. Google has already included podcasts in search results and is working on indexing audio content. Apple breathe them in the back. In 2017, the company bought a startup that created automatic speech recognition technology in podcasts. But with the advent of Spotify and Pandora , Apple is no longer a monopolist in this niche. Along with the profitability of the format, the number of people willing to create their own podcast has grown. And even though the situation on the Russian market is not so rosy , this creates an opportunity to occupy a market niche earlier than others.

    Video from the recording of one of the “Sound” podcast releases - talking about trends in the hi-fi world

    If you are inspired by the concept of Internet radio, or are agitated by the prospect of financial success associated with your favorite hobby, you probably ask the question "What do you need to create your podcast?". We will talk about this in the second part of the story.

    Additional reading - our World of Hi-Fi and tg-microformat about sound:

    Unusual musical instruments
    TestHiFi - we measure your system for 299 rubles.
    Are there special headphones for TV shows?
    How to turn a computer into a radio, and other ways to extract music from the calculus. systems
    Eight audio technologies that will fall into the hall of fame TECnology in 2019

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