Over the past several years, podcasts have been on the rise. They dominate our earbuds and our conversation. The reason is fascinating because really, it’s just a more democratic & commercialized radio, it’s nothing new. Back in the 50’s, families used to huddle around the radio to listen to in-depth adventures and episodic stories. Now, over fifty years later, everyone has a podcast you can listen to anytime, anywhere, anyplace.
Made popular by the likes of Serial, which had over 100 million listens in its heyday and Gimlet Media who created the very meta Startup podcast, podcasts have been elevated into public light. They are a serious contender in creativity, education, entertainment, your attention, and ultimately making money.
There are a lot of juicy stats as to why podcasting is the next big thing. Like the fact that Google searches have seen a 32% increase in annual growth in recent years or that podcast adoption is predominantly driven by mobile usage.
Last week, LA investor Jason Calacanis sent out a note talking about the “The HBO of Podcasting”. He knows his stuff as he’s now making over $1M a year in revenue off of his “This Week In Start Ups” podcast. He claims 2017 is the year of the podcast. Is it?
He says, “If you could grab 20% of the top 500 podcasts over the next two years for the “HBO of Podcasting” at a $4m payment each, you would be looking at a whopping $400 million content budget — or as Sirius XM would refer to it, “two Howard Sterns” and Netflix would call it four “House of Cards” or “three weeks” (of content).” So clearly it will take some serious cash, but the theory is people would pay for it.
Spotify is bringinging podcasts to the mix. Soundcloud and French based streaming service Deezer are getting into the game as well. Technology is making it increasingly easier to create podcasts and there are some huge businesses surrounding the ecosystem like Midroll which is an award winning podcast ad-network. Clammr which helps you source podcast audio clips, Pinecast which gives you data to make better podcasts & Fable which is aiming to be one of the first podcast only distributors.
It’s not stopping either. This American Life, one of most prolific players in the space, and the company that inspired Serial just premiered S-town, Limetownjust had a huge moment and even we, The Future Party are experimenting, check it out, we’d love some feedback.