The podcast industry has grown steadily over the past ten years, creating a number of new professions in the sector. Podcasting is now mature enough for there to be podcast specific advertising agencies (like us!), as well as podcast-specific roles in agencies and businesses, plus opportunities to excel in podcast hosting or producing. However, as the industry is still relatively young, these roles are rare and coveted. We have compiled insights and advice from industry professionals in podcast advertising, hosting and production to give you the inside scoop on the industry. Read on to load yourself up with knowledge so you have all the information and inspiration you need to embark on a career in podcasting, or upskilling within your current role.
Time for a career change?
With covid acting as a catalyst for a shift in how we approach work and life, many people are thinking about changing careers. Whilst predictions for “the great resignation” are coming to fruition in the US, with 3% of the total workforce resigning in November 2021 (4.5 million people), figures are much less significant in Australia, with just 195,800 resignations, or 0.014% of the population. (Smart Company) Nevertheless, new and innovative industries like podcasting will always attract people looking to make a change and be part of an emerging market. Furthermore, audio has a unique appeal within the media space. Greg Muller, host of our first original podcast, Motherlode explains:
“Audio fires up the imagination more than TV and print and can make storytelling more powerful.”
The good news is that as the industry is so young and developing, podcast experience is usually not expected for a job in the industry and companies will often invest in educating and upskilling you in the space. For example, if you work in a media agency or radio, raising your hand to become your team’s podcast ad expert is likely to be met with enthusiasm.
Roles that lend well to being a podcast host or producer, with transferable skills include journalist, social media manager, radio host and writer.
If you are keener on the marketing side of things, any role in advertising, branding or media buying will put you in good stead, as will PR, creative services and sales. However, this is not rigid and anyone who can display creativity and passion can make it in the industry if they put in the effort.
Greg Muller elaborates:
“People move into podcasts from so many different professions now from lawyers and ex-prisoners to sports stars, so there's no correct career path to end up in podcasting. If you're curious, you'll most likely find a good story.“
If you are starting out your career, we would advise thinking about whether you would like to work for a network, publisher, or agency. Would you prefer a start-up, or an established company?
Our Head of Commercial & Partnerships, Zach Kangalaris, explains:
“Understand the eco system and you’ll be able to set yourself up for success as you’ll have a clearer picture of your goals and how to get there.”
Marketing and Advertising
As of writing this, if you search “podcast” on seek.com.au currently, 111 jobs appear across Australia and the majority are in marketing and advertising. Many are general ad jobs in agencies or in-house that list podcasts as one of the media types you will be working with, showing how prominent the medium is becoming within the Australian media landscape.
Are you keen to start a career in the podcast marketing space? Or maybe you’re already working in the industry and are keen to grow your skill set by learning more about podcast ads and partnerships? Zach advises to educate yourself on the industry as a starting point:
“ Podcasting has some interesting nuances and it’s important to educate yourself on where the industry has been, where it is currently and where it’s headed.”
To start your podcast learning journey, we recommend having a sift through our News & Insights archive. The Spotify Advertising hub also has some great insights and educational pieces. Zach also recommends reaching out to anyone you may know in the business:
“Network with people within the industry, it’s a rapidly growing and there are plenty of opportunities if you’re prepared to do the work and learn the ins and outs.”
Haven’t had a crack at creating a podcast yet? We advise building the plane after you jump off the cliff. It can be daunting to make the leap, but once you have, you can figure out the details on the way. The best way to advance is to test and learn.
Our Co-founder Nick Randall elaborates:
“Start now - in 6 months time you will be glad you did. Get your flying hours up and get all of the awkward interviews and tech issues out of the way now.”
You will find that you need to wear many hats when you create your own podcast, giving you valuable insight into the variety of roles within the industry that you may wish to specialize in. Byron Cooke, host of his own successful podcast explains:
“I'm the assistant producer, producer, executive producer, audio editor, marketing department, sales manager, sales rep, social media manager, publicist, legal counsel...oh and yeah - I'm the host!“
Byron encourages new talent in the industry to be lead by their personal passions:
“Podcasting has the potential to be a serious business, but just like radio - the best shows are the ones where the people in it are genuinely having a great time. Start it with a content area and people that you're really comfortable in and enjoy. Then just go with it. There is little or nothing to lose.”
If you are interested in, or experienced in audio mixing, editing and production, then the podcast industry may just be a lucrative industry for you, or an added string to your bow. As most established podcast hosts will be keen to focus on interviewing guests and recording, they often rely on experts to do the research, talent sourcing, editing, mixing and distribution. Technical skills like audio editing, mixing, mastering and exporting to client specifications are vital for roles in this area. Audio producers and editors are key to making sure that the podcast sounds professional and flows well.
The podcast industry has a lot of interesting options for jobs and opportunities will only increase as the industry grows. If you’d like to learn more feel free to reach out to us, we’re always happy to advise and chat.