podcasting predictions

1. Listening on Android will play a bigger role

Today, iOS accounts for up to 80% of podcast listeners, yet half of US smartphone users own Android devices. There will be an inflection point where we’ll start to see more adoption from Android users not only in the US, but also on a global level.

2. Podcast quality will improve as we see more scripted shows

There are two main types of content today: host-led or interview-style podcasts and scripted narratives. We’ll see more audio dramas being produced partially because podcasting is such an intimate medium that enables more imagination and creative freedom with a shorter turnaround time. We’ll continue to see podcasting as an incubator for IP development in Hollywood due to the shorter execution time.

3. Premium subscriptions will become a bigger revenue stream for content creators

Much like publishing, we’ll see more premium content for podcasters to monetize. It’ll be driven by customer support and it will be interesting to observe the adoption rate. Our key initiative at Castbox is to become a marketplace for podcasters who have premium content to put behind a paywall.

4. Brands will spend more on podcast advertising

Podcast advertising will shift from direct response to more brand awareness-driven ads. Dynamic insertion ads will continue to increase and there will be more opportunities for creators to monetize their shows. But even at a 50% increase in ad spend in the next couple of years to $600 million, there’s still a huge gap compared to radio and TV advertising which sits at $40 billion per year.

5. More people will listen to podcasts via smart speakers

Even though smart speakers grew by 78% last year, it wasn’t as big for podcasters because most Americans use speakers to listen to music or ask about the weather and only 1% of the listening is to podcasts. We will see this this figure rise slowly as more people adopt smart speakers beyond checking the weather and turning on their lights.

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