Podcasts have come a long way from being the pet project of some hobbyist with a handful of listeners directly proportional to the number of family members they have.
But while podcasts are big news, how many people do they really reach?
And how can they be monetised?
“I was listening to this podcast the other day…” has become a new way to signal technical sophistication and perhaps a little intellectual superiority, to whomever will listen. Beneath this opening line to whatever piece of trivia comes next, there is a valuable nugget of information: podcasts have come a long way from being the pet project of some hobbyist with a handful of listeners directly proportional to the number of family members they have.
In this report, we attempt to unpack what’s going on in podcasting. We provide an overview of the latest trends in the Australian podcast sector. We begin with a brief update on the listener, before considering monetisation and distribution. We conclude by arguing that there is a current gap in the market for businesses and business models that can effectively monetise the mid-market segment. We also address the question of profitability in podcasting, and whether it is achievable at scale.
State of play: who’s listening?
More awareness than ever
A stable listener base (for now) with rapidly growing engagement
Money talks: monetising the medium
Mind the gap: small scale audiences and the monetisation conundrum
Into the big leagues: how will podcasting hit profitability at scale?
Appendix: overview of monetisation models
List of charts/tables
Figure 1. Podcasting awareness among Australians, P12+ (%)
Figure 2. Podcasting awareness among Americans, P12+ (%)
Figure 3. Google search trends – “podcast” and “teachers [sic] pet”, Australia only (index)
Figure 4. Podcasting awareness among Australians, P12+
Figure 5. Podcast monetisation framework
Figure 6. Share of podcast downloads by distribution platform, April 201813
Figure 7. Podcast advertising revenue by program genre, US, 2018