Everyone is podcasting – some to create brand authority and some to be the early force in a futuristic big market.
But how big is the podcasting market going to be? From monetization point of view? Is there a business model behind podcasting?
Rather, will Podcasting ever go beyond a hobbyist phase and become a serious busine$$?
Checkout this wonderful collection which brings you different perspectives on whether Podcasting can be the video of audio business!
Usually the success of podcasts is measured in terms of number of downloads or number of listeners, but that might not mean the true success eventually.
At this juncture, where podcast is following in the footsteps of video and everyday marks entry of a number of new entrants, the survival of the fittest game would come into play soon.
And those who would survive, are the ones who have the most number of 'Engaged Listeners'; the listeners who interact with, follow up and eventually 'trust' the podcast.
This group of listeners who have posed 'trust' in the podcast would not only have the most likelihood of being 'paid' subscribers for a long term, but they would also help in building a community around the podcast.
The number of listeners who would listen at least one podcast a month would rise to 1.83 billion by 2023, it is expected. This would be a six fold growth in seven years.
However,the question still remains about how to make profit out of podcasts, even though the total revenues estimated from podcasts is going to $1 Billion in 2019.
Turning 'download hits' into screen adaptations is one way through which companies are believing enhanced monetisation could happen.
“I don’t believe that a podcast needs a TV remake to be successful, but I do believe it can benefit from it.The TV launch of Dirty John effectively gave the podcast a new release, a new wave of millions of listeners.”
Like any other media, there would be always some content which could be missing from the ears of the listeners, but that does not makes 'podcast discover' a sound stand alone business.
The number of users who are consistently looking for 'hidden' content is not sizeable enough to warrant such a business model. And this so because, there is no dearth of content.
Because of wide choice available, less people go on 'finding trips'.
Big companies like Spotify jumping in to fray, they would try to solve the problem with technology, making discovery just a feature.
Curation and Summary based newsletter are far more interesting business models, than search and discovery!
With multitude of podcasts apps and subscriptions, finding the right 'signal' is becoming a huge problem. The problem with subscriptions is that free contents are swept downwards in favour of paid ones and once can miss many a 'hidden gems' and top quality 'dark matter'. With content adding up everyday, listening to the right content at right time, is often missed.
One can suddenly recollect some topic or vague idea and wants to search for that 'topic', it is painful to do so.
Even if the right podcast is located, one has to start tight since beginning to find the 'G Spot', in what could be termed as 'Narration Discovery Problem'.
The current duel in podcasting business for both podcasters as well as apps is choosing between subscription or advertising. Companies do not want advertising on the pretext of saving it from misery.
While the listeners have no trouble with advertising (unlike video), some listeners go as far as claiming that listening ads on some podcasts is more entertaining ( since they do not interrupt the experience) than listening to the content itself.
The compromise might be the best solution where there are multiple revenue models involving both subscriptions and ads, so that listeners can choose what they want. That is the way to keep both podcasting and it's listeners 'free'.
Recent upheavals in podcasting industry has brought the 'video' in podcasting.
Companies are trying to emulate the 'exclusive content' strategy of video in all forms in podcasting too.
Exclusive content, Exclusive content for a time window etc.
If users can switch between Prime, Netflix and Hulu for exclusive contents, then why not in Podcasts after all?
Podcasting which started as a real democratic radio is now gravitating towards 'autocracy' where media companies akin, podcasting startups would now decide, what the users listen to and what not, and of course one has to pay for that too.
Podcasters have a choice to make, to let their fans go in to the 'prison' or make a direct connection with them supported by advertising.
What is more important for a podcaster, distribution or discovery?
This is the question which is going to fumble most of the mind and there is no easy answer to it.
Most of the tech majors have their own podcast apps now, and in lieu of provding an 'access platform' which is unmatched, they are trying to throttle the discovery of those podcasts on other apps or platforms. The problem confounds manifold, if you add search monopoly to it.
A classic duel is going on between BBC and Google, where each one is fighting for supremacy.
Google is sending the search queries of BBC's podcasts to its own app only, restricting discovery. BBC wants internet to be free.
Podcasting has turned a corner since it started in 2014, when it was just a new 'cool' trend, which everyone was trying.
In 2019, everyone wants to get into podcasting (including the top music streaming companies) because as a business it i snow making sense. From just 'hit-and-trial' it has almost arrived.
Many companies are now taking podcast behind closed paywalls, which defeats the very purpose of it. The companies whop are going to survive now, are those who have great money to spend on getting quality content.
The podcast identity problem permeates to pod-casters also, who are facing dilemma between accepting money for their podcasts and go behind a wall, or to keep it for 'everyone' and have sustainability issues.