Weekly Roundup: Things are happening and they are good

Hello Podheads, decided to take a break last week to recharge my batteries. Anyways, this week wasn’t that heavy on developments but nonetheless, there were some exciting stories. Here’s roundup #13.

Questions about the future

Eric Peckham, the Media Columnist at Techcrunch published a longform piece titled “What’s next for podcasting?” He raises a lot of important questions in the piece. He notes the slow shift of podcasters towards paid subscriptions, which is something the vast majority of the industry insiders have a beef with.

He also asserts that advertising, although will have a place in monetization mix, isn’t the best way forward.

We know consumers in the West are willing to pay subscriptions for film/TV and for ad-free streaming music, so why not for podcast streaming?

This is the same discussion I’ve had with Rahul, founder of Storiyoh. Why should podcasts be any different from other forms of paid content? Although the argument makes sense at a broad level, I guess it has to do with the fear of the unknown in a fledgeling media. Will users pay? Well, we won’t until we see creators and platforms alike try this at scale.

He also talks about the potential of streaming giants such as Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, Google Podcast and others. We’ve been closely tracking what these players are up to and I for one am extremely bullish on some of their moves, especially Google and Spotify and what they can potentially do to the medium of podcasting. Pandora and Spotify alone have over 150 million users between them. As alluring as a number that is, it won’t be as easy as flipping a switch to attract new audiences. But the potential remains, nonetheless.

He also makes a point that podcasters should look towards listener revenues. Patreon has long been a go-to choice for podcasters. Other platforms like Anchor and Radiopublic have also enabled users to directly contribute to podcasters. This form of revenue is also the ultimate validation of the quality of your podcast. If your audience isn’t willing to pay then your podcast, most likely has a lower chance of success. This also ties into the reality about podcasters not paying attention to their audiences. We’ve been harping on the fact that podcasters apart from putting out good content should also actively work towards building an active community around their shows. We’ve seen numerous examples where shows have built thriving and monetizable communities on platforms like Facebook etc.

The post makes for a really good read.

Also read: Radiopublic launched a new feature that allows users to tip creators.

Facing challenges

Adexchanger published a really good piece by Tutuwa Ahwoi, ad operations manager at National Public Mediapublished on how the podcasting industry is tackling some of its biggest challenges.

Podcasting down under

James Cridland of Podnews presented data on podcast consumption in Australia at the OzPod conference. Here’s the video with the slides:

Here’s an accompanying article with the data.

The numbers are fascinating. 91% of Australians are aware of what a podcast is. 65% listened to a podcast in the past 24 hours.

James is brilliant and the video full of insights.

BBC podcasts

James Purnell, the director of Radio & Education at BBC shared some stats on BBC podcasts.

The BBC in the UK in September saw a record 26.5 million downloads vs the previous record of 23.5 million.

The broadcaster saw a record 63 million downloads across the world.

11% of the people in the UK listen to podcasts each week.

He also shared some broad numbers by channels. Although he didn’t give out a detailed break up of the data, this does paint a picture of podcasting in the UK at a broader level.  

A full slate?

Speaking to Mediapost, Charlie Kammerer the Chief Revenue Officer of The Slate Group said that the podcasts will account for 35% of the digital magazine’s business, up from 28% last year.

Slate, which primarily covers politics and culture, chose to invest in podcasting over video, given that the company is “too small” to monetize video, which is “too expensive,”

Slate had 150 million downloads this year and produced nine custom podcasts.

“We have a premium scale plan,” Kammerer said. “We’re not running after scale. We want to get big while delivering a premium audience.”


The saga of the broken Apple iTunes charts keeps getting worse by the week. Jon Perotti, producer at WBUR tweeted that by just paying $5 dollars he was able to get his defunct podcast to No 2 on the Arts category charts. I kid you not!

Apple charts are broken and Apple doesn’t seem to care.



Vanity Fair published a piece on the TV adaptations of podcasts theme titled “Dirty John, Homecoming, and TV’s Podcast Tidal Wave
Television has found a new well of source material in the podcasts we spend so many hours consuming. Will our aural fixation translate to screen success?

Gimlet Media will be releasing four episodes on the making of the TV show Homecoming based on the network’s podcast by the same name. The episodes will be released on the Startup podcast. The TV series airs on November 2nd.

MSNBC is launching a new podcast by Rachel Maddow. The show titled “bag Man” will chronicle the corruption scandal involving former Vice President Spiro Agnew.

The Spotify Premium app got a bit of a makeover and makes exploring podcasts easier. Why is this a big deal? Well, Spotify is now the default #2 podcast app and has the potential to bring millions of new listeners to the fold. They’re spending on original content, expanding their podcast library, and recently opened up podcast submissions. In its efforts to diversify its revenue base, Spotify does seem to be betting on podcasts and that’s excellent news for the industry. With over 80 million users, it can potentially bring millions of new listeners into the podcasting fold from around the world.

The Washington Post last week announced that Martine Powers will host the paper’s upcoming flagship daily news podcast “Post reports”. Martine was the interim host of the “Can He Do That?” podcast and is also the transportation editor. The show launches on December 3rd. T. Rowe Price, the asset management giant will be the launch sponsor.

This show by the Post will be competing with the NYT’s The Daily and Vox’s Today Explained. The daily news podcast wars are certainly heating up. The Guardian recently announced that political editor Anushka Asthana will be the host of its new daily news and current affairs podcast.

Radio giant Entercom in partnership with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and political commentator Katie Pavlich launched a new podcast titled “Everything’s Going to be All Right”.

The Today programme, BBC’s flagship radio news programme is launching a new podcast in a bid to attract new and younger listeners and shore up its audience decline.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you guys have feedback. 

Posted by Bhuvanesh

A podcast junkie on a mission to make podcasts great.

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