Podcast Trends 2022 Part 2
With over a decade of strong growth, the podcast industry has evolved into a significant media platform, with 62% of those age 12+ in leading markets such as the U.S. (an estimated 177 million people) having listened to podcasts (The Infinite Dial 22.) Audiences trust podcast hosts and are highly engaged in the medium for long periods of time. In turn, brands are starting to see the value in advertising on podcasts. With podcast creation, consumption and advertising exploding, new trends are emerging. We looked at some of the most prevalent early this year and have explored further below. For those who are interested in entering or continuing to engage in the podcast market, these key trends should be factored into their podcast advertising strategy.
(for 1-6, please read 2022 Podcast Trends To Be Aware Of)
7. Quality continues to be a driver for growth
Within the ever-expanding content economy, podcasts have a reputation for producing high quality content that can teach you something new, expand your horizons, inspire and entertain. Whilst there are over 25 million YouTube channels and over 500 million blogs in existence, podcasting is still a relatively young medium with a smaller pool of choice and high standards. Why does this scale matter? Because podcasts have not yet become flooded with mass content creators who produce low quality media.
Furthermore, consumers are starting to acknowledge the adverse effects of social media on mental health. A 2020 study suggested that people who use social media for more than 3 hours daily are more likely to experience mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, aggression, and antisocial behavior. (Medical News Today.) However, one of the key reasons why podcast listeners (59% of those surveyed) listen to podcasts is that “they make you feel smarter” (Infinite Dial 19).
As podcast quality continues to grow by utilising data and feedback, the growth of the medium’s popularity amongst educated, affluent audiences is likely. This is good for podcasters, listeners and advertisers alike.
8. More measurable results means more data-driven decisions can be made
It has been a common struggle for media buyers to identify which tools, platforms and metrics are the most relevant to making informed, data-driven decisions when it comes to podcasts ad campaigns. However, the podcast industry has adapted to provide detailed and insightful data to take podcast advertising from guesswork to science.
The IAB has made the issue of impressions vs downloads and how they are counted a lot easier to quantify. Additionally, when you buy dynamically inserted ads in contextually relevant shows on a CPM basis, wastage is at an all time low. This is due to the audience being able to be geographically targeted and in turn means maximum exposure for your campaign.
Now that podcast ad measurement is robust, more advertisers are taking advantage of this highly immersive platform, with impressive results. A recent study found that 65% of podcast listeners paid attention to adverts - more than adverts on TV at 39% and adverts on the radio at 38%. (The Guardian).
9. Increased Competition Between Podcast Apps
Apple Podcasts were the market leader, with over 28 million monthly users reported (Statista). However, sources suggest that Spotify has since taken the crown as #1. With other options such as Listenr, Wondery and iHeartRadio also grappling for listeners, the race for share of ear is on.
With the average podcast listener in the U.S. using close to three different platforms (Westwood One), content options and quality are important to attract and retain users.
As the podcast platforms grapple for dominance, they are innovating with diverse content, high profile podcast creators/celebrities and through acquiring podcast publishing companies. Spotify has reportedly invested over $1 billion in original podcasts. eMarketer predicts that Spotify will widen the gap in the next couple of years.
This continued experimentation in content, talent, and user experience means more choice and high quality content for the listener, plus more options for the advertiser to choose the right show and audience.
10. Podcasts championing diversity
The industry has championed diversity and inclusion through recruiting more diverse creators and launching shows and networks that appeal to a broader spectrum of listeners. For example, Spotify’s Sound Up program is aimed at addressing the lack of diversity in podcasting. It is helping minorities thrive in the white-dominated market. The program is aimed at equipping these would-be podcasters with the training and tools necessary to get them started on their podcasting journeys.
This strategy is paying off, with non-white podcast audiences growing faster than white audiences. Edison says podcast listeners are now largely in line with the population overall. Hispanics make up 16% of monthly podcast listeners, compared to 11% in 2017. Blacks now comprise 16% of the audience, up from 12% in 2017 and Asian Americans account for another 3% as the proportion of White listeners has fallen from 66% to 59% during the past five years. (Infinite Dial 22) This trend looks likely to continue, adding a spectrum of representation to the industry.
11. Subscription models to diversify
Apple claimed to be “leading the next chapter” with Apple Podcast Subscriptions, a premium podcast subscription service which brings early access and ad-free listening to subscribers. Several other platforms also offer this, with varying price points and benefits.
The move has excited members of the podcast creation community, who are increasingly on the hunt for new ways of monetising beyond, or additional to, traditional ads. Patrick Wyman, Host of Tides of History on Wondery explains:
“Thanks to Wondery, my audience has more than doubled and that growth has driven ad sales that have allowed me to quit my day job as a journalist to pursue my passion for history full-time.”
As subscription models get more sophisticated and nuanced, creators will have more methods to get closer to their fans at their fingertips. We predict that the platforms who put their creators first will see the most lucrative returns.
From tools, to UX, to new platforms, the podcasting space is ever-changing. The industry is getting stronger and more diverse, with exciting options for advertisers. It’s easier than ever to harness the power of this highly effective medium. Get in touch with us anytime to explore this further.