Any Truth to Podcasting Renaissance?

By Rob Greenlee

It seems like podcasting or on-demand audio is in the middle of a burst of media and entrepreneurial interest.  This increased interest in podcasting is occurring because of a convergence of events that have been building for a few years now.

Many newer people to the podcasting community, listeners and media all sense sudden fast track growth and profitability.  This recent perception has been fueled by many major articles on large media sites like Washington Post and Fast Company.  These articles often reference the “Serial” podcast and exuded the renewed birth of podcasting and its profitability stemming from the growth and success of podcast networks.  Big podcast shows are getting plenty of advertisers and making lots of money, but smaller shows are still struggling to make solid revenue. Revenue to smaller podcast shows is coming as the overall audience for podcasts or on demand audio grows.

“I hate to pop the bubble here, but podcasting has been on a steady rise in usage, content, content quality and ease of distribution for many years now.  Successful and profitable podcast programs and networks have been around for many years.” 

What we have been seeing is just a steady increase in all areas around podcasting and on-demand audio as the 10 year old medium matures.  We did not get here overnight and the media interest and content we are seeing talked about now has been around for many years.  The Adam Carolla Podcast started in 2009 and many of the popular public radio programs started 4 or 5 years ago now as well.

It is easy to be a little cynical about the hype and media coverage of today as we have seen it all before, many times.  Even going back to 2004 and 2005, when “Wired” magazine ran a front page cover story proclaiming how podcasting was going to “Kill Radio” and showed a bullet crashing through a table top radio receiver.  Like I have said, we have been here and seen this all before.  The difference is that back then podcasting was a bunch of smoke and mirrors.  It was an upstart medium that no one really understood. Much of that has changed now and we are finally starting to see the broadcast radio industry start to recognize that on-demand audio may actually be the threat that they did not concern themselves with back in 2005.

The suggested renaissance of podcasting is being driven by an explosion of new quality podcast content from every potential source you can imagine.  Comedy podcasts are booming as well as every other genre of content, from religious podcasts to shows from reality stars like Snooki and Brandi Glanville.  Former Pro Wrestlers are also building a strong new genre in the sports category.  YouTube stars are starting to build successful audio podcasts with the launch of the Tyler Oakly’s “Psycho Babble” podcast.

We have also been seeing a steady shift of nationally syndicated talk radio talkers moving to becoming more cross-media brands with TV shows and podcasts. This recognition of the big broadcast radio networks and stations is a huge trend coming for 2015 and beyond.

Podcasting conference events like The New Media Expo (NMX) in Las Vegas next April 13-15, which is going to be co-presented with the huge National Association of Broadcasters annual conference, Podcast Movement in Texas and the recent Los Angeles Podcast Festival that focused on live comedy podcast shows.  LA PodFest was a show fan event with educational podcasting sessions.

“Podcasting or on-demand audio is growing fast since the hype of YouTube video and Social Media has subsided somewhat and smartphones have exploded in adoption.  This is the opening for a renaissance of spoken-word audio as the medium shifts to become an on-demand medium like video and music has become.  It has just taken spoken-word audio and podcasting a little bit longer to develop than broadcast radio.”

The future is bright again for audio with the coming smart car dashboards and head units.  Apple is rolling out “CarPlay” and Google’s Android operating system is getting installed more and more into cars of the future.  This means that the growth of spoken-word audio apps on your phone and installed into your car smart dashboards will bring a new audio experience to our cars via our smartphones or directly to the car dash via very fast data plans.

Look for podcasting and on-demand spoken-word audio to continue its march up the mountain called “Renaissance”.

Originally distributed in Podertainment Magazine.

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2 Responses to Any Truth to Podcasting Renaissance?

  1. Pingback: 040 Amazing Growth For Podcasting In 2014, The Academy Of Podcasters and Careers In Podcasting - Official Libsyn Blog

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