Weekly Roundup: Good Times!

Podheads, in spite of the negative drumbeat about the present and future of podcasts in the past couple of weeks, we are alright. Writing this weeks edition, reminded of the progress that is underway. Issue #11

Datawatch

Ofcom, the media regulatory authority of the UK released some data on podcast consumption. The bottom line is that podcasts are seeing growth in the UK. Here are some highlights:

  1. The number of weekly podcast listeners has doubled from 3.2 million in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2018. Well, that’s some really good growth right there.
  2. Half the podcast listeners are under the age of 35.

Podcasts are booming in the UK, and broadening people’s listening landscape. Every age group is getting involved, but the most explosive growth is among younger adults. People are using podcasts to complement traditional radio, and we’re encouraged to see broadcasters embracing the medium and seeing it as an opportunity for growth.

Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s Director of Market Intelligence

Fricking bubble talk.

And here we are with more talk of a bubble. Starting with the juicy comment first. Here’s what Podfather Adam Curry has the whole podcasting bubble

Steven Goldstein, wrote a piece titled” It’s Not a Bubble, It’s a Business“.

We all know the business cycle. A yogurt place is successful, so 5 more open up nearby.

New horizons

Lindsay Patterson, Creator of Tumble podcast published an amazing piece titled “Let’s Put the “International” in International Podcast Day“. In the post, she makes several observations

The podcast industry is extremely Ameri-centric.
The podcast industry literally does not value international audiences.

Now that you’ve read them, they do make a lot of sense and seem obvious, don’t they? This post struck a chord with me because I am from India. I started Podhead and Podtalk with the intent to spread the word about podcasting in India.

Although podcasting is growing in countries like India, Brazil, China, etc, the medium is still not mainstream and doesn’t enjoy the same level of attention as podcasts in the US. Like Lindsay writes in the post, if creators interacted with global audiences, it would go a long way in spreading awareness about the medium.

We are seeing signs of non-US audience growth. Major networks like Stuffworks, Midroll Media among others say that non-US audiences range between 10-30%. Not a small number is it?

These numbers are bound to increase with the entry of Google Podcasts into the podcasting space. Remember, Android has a global market share of over 75%. So, there’s a pointer for you to engage with your audience.

Moolah talk

An interesting twitter conversation on podcasting ad budgets

Spotify Watch

Spotify finally started accepting direct podcast submissions. Up until now, you could only submit podcast through select podcast hosts. With the latest move, podcasters can directly submit their feed.

Through this new platform that we’re testing, podcast creators who are hosting their podcasts elsewhere will be able to make their show available to Spotify users by providing us with their podcast feed. This will easily make them available to our audience of more than 180 million listeners around the world, and allow podcasters to see daily stats about who is listening and from where.

This is a really big development. Spotify is now the defacto number 2 podcasting platform in the world. With the latest move, it looks like the company is kicking its podcasting efforts into high gear.

The portal is called “Spotify for Podcasters” and it is still in beta. Which means that Spotify is just getting started and there’s a lot more to come. Of course, this is assuming that it doesn’t bungle it up.

Diversity

Google Podcasts want to make podcasts diverse. It announced a partnership with PRX to develop its Google Podcasts creator program which It had during the launch of the Google Podcast app.

The Google Podcasts creator program, funded by Google, hopes to remove barriers to podcasting, increase the diversity of voices in the industry, and to make sure content is available for all audiences.

We are committed to lowering barriers to podcasting through education and information sharing, As we work to bring hundreds of millions more listeners into the fold, we want to play a role in ensuring content is available for all types of global audiences. PRX has a proven track record of mentorship and education, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with them as our lead partner.

Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Product Manager of Google Podcasts

Well, I don’t know what this will lead to, but Google does have a fat wallet.

TicToc

Digiday ran an interesting piece on Bloomberg’s audio efforts. Here are 2 interesting data points from the article.

About podcasts:

The company said that audience downloads for its some 25 podcast have increased 35 percent year over year, but was unwilling to give exact numbers.

On text-to-speech:

Adoption started off slow, particularly on mobile web, and shortly after launch, people were listening to two and a half stories on average per app session. Now, this has increased to six stories and has become the second-most popular media type on the app (behind live TV).

Bloomberg is a big player in the podcasting space with 25 odd podcasts.

Aamzoned!

When Amazon makes a move into something new, most often than not, businesses will be in trouble. With Amazon deciding to sell its own mattresses, what will it mean for brands such as Casper, which are among the biggest podcast advertisers?

Damn Podfasters!

Lauren Murrow of Wired expresses her scorn for podfasters (speed-listening).

I reserve special scorn for so-called podfasters: the tweakers who listen at 1.5X, 2X, even 3X speed. I see you over there—oblivious to the world, AirPods stuffed in your hearholes as, Joey Chestnut–style, you inhale content

Ouch! I personally have never been a fan of speed-listening. I prefer to savor podcasts as they are intended to be. But to each his own. 

Coco

Comedian, writer and television host, Conan O’Brien is launching his podcast 
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend next month.


Miscellaneous stuff

Here are the winners of the 2018 Podcast Awards.

Hollywood wants to turn your favorite podcast into your favorite TV show – NBC
Dr. Death’ TV Series Based On Podcast In Works At Universal Cable Productions. – Deadline

The New York Times is launching a new podcast. The Argument will be hosted by 
Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt. 

GQ magazine launched a new podcast titled Mad Influence. Jim Nelson talks to accomplished actors, artists, designers and others about their stories.

Voices from India

International podcast day recap

On Sept 30th, the podcast world celebrated International podcast day. There were over 30 hours of online sessions presented by speakers from around the world on a variety of topics. Chhavi Sachdev and Bijay Gautam were among the presenters from India who shared their insights during the online sessions. While Chhavi shared her journey as one of the earliest podcasters from India and covered the evolution of podcasts in the country, Bijay spoke about how he has been able to leverage Whatsapp to increase the reach of his podcasts. Both sessions were brilliantly done with some insights.

Meetups were held in New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai to mark the day. While some of them were the first of their kind, we certainly hope that more such meetups are held. More power to the community!

New Launches

Dear Pari by Suno India 

Dear Pari is a much needed podcast that addresses an important social topic that is very pertinent in today’s times – adoption. Hosts and parents, Priya and Rakesh take you through their journey of adoption, the stakeholders one interacts with during the process, the issues and much more. Tune in to this wonderful narrative podcast brought to you by Suno India, a podcast platform which will be solely dedicated to audio-stories and podcasts on issues that matter. Kudos!!

Here’s a profile of the podcast by The Hindu.

4 questions with Social media famous

Another very novel podcast, considering the Indian podcasting sphere. The host Karan Singh aka the loner with a phone, talks to social media influencers about their beginnings, their journeys, tips and tricks and a lot more. On a lighter note, since we are talking to the social media famous, I guess that takes care of downloads of the podcast! But in all fairness, these conversations do give an insight about all the work that goes behind the making of these social media giants!

Sound Bites

Have you met India’s first ‘poditician‘ yet? Meet former quiz master and now a member of Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien who will be asking more tough questions, this time on his podcast, Sound Bites. Released on the occasion of the Swacch Bharath day, Oct 2nd, the opening episode touches upon some hard-hitting facts of the lives of manual scavengers and why the Swachh Bharath mission needs to do more. Eagerly looking forward to what the quizmaster has in store for the future.

Weekly Recommendations

Here’s what we are listening to:

Posted by Bhuvanesh

A podcast junkie on a mission to make podcasts great.

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