Creator Economy

What's the Future of Audio Podcasts?

Sunaina Patnaik
Sep 5, 2023
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minutes read

It's 2023 — you're either hosting a podcast or listening to one. 🧠

According to Exploding Topics, there are about 3.02M podcasts in the world and the growth of podcasts was particularly high during the pandemic. There's no denying we relied on podcasters to feel a little less lonely during the pandemic. It's what birthed Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.

Did you know one-third of the population in the US listens to podcasts?

Source: Exploding Topics

Hundreds of journalists, digital creators, and specialists have become more accessible to the world today, thanks to podcasts. I love that I can learn about newsletter distribution and later switch to horror stories — all from one place. Platforms like Spotify and Apple have made the experience quite seamless. 💯

That's the beauty of audio podcasts — you can listen to someone while working or working out. And yet, several audio podcasters are often asked to create video podcasts. They are told video is the future, and they might perish if they don't embrace it. With platforms also pushing for video podcasts, this pressure seems inevitable for some.

Demand Sage reports that podcast listening is usually high in the mornings and most listened to on mobile phones. However, Influencer Marketing Hub states “Tech advancements favor in-car podcast listening despite limited reach.” The report further states 👇

That brings me to our conversation: is there no future for audio podcasts? 🤔

Earlier this year, Nick Catucci, who writes Embedded, a newsletter on internet trends, tweeted: i'm worried about podcasts.

Many creators resonate with his thought, albeit their reasons are different. While some creators think standing out in a sea full of podcasts requires a lot more that commitment, audio podcasters fear they might be passé if they don't switch to video.

Is the demand for video podcasts more?

Should we say demand? Or pressure?

Riverside's report, Future of Video Podcasting for Brands 2023, derived insights from 620+ podcasters, experts, and listeners. The report states 64% of new podcast listeners prefer video podcasts (vodcasts), and 85% of companies create video podcasts.

Sneha Sindhu, a creator behind one of India's leading true-crime podcasts Khooni, prefers audio to video. While Khooni is predominantly audio-based, as a consumer, she likes the experience of audio podcasts. "I can multi-task with audio podcasts, and I feel I can retain more information this way."

When asked if she felt the pressure to shift to vodcasting, she says, "I have felt the pressure — and tried too, but I'm not a fan." She further adds 👇

👉 Read: Future of video podcasting for brands

Audio podcasters turning to vodcasts organically

For some creators, this shift happens naturally.

In our conversation with Nansi Mishra, co-founder of The Neon Show (earlier known as 100x Entrepreneur), we were told it's a conscious decision. So far, their focus was on audio podcasts, but this year, vodcasts became a priority. She says, “YouTube wasn't our priority but now, we're constantly building for the platform by ensuring everything from the content to thumbnails and descriptions are on-point. We've started masterclasses too, so our milestone for YouTube is to have one lakh followers in a year."

The Neon Show offers a similar experience for both their audio and video podcast consumers, which indeed gives them an advantage.

When asked Joe Casabona, founder of Podcast Liftoff and podcasting coach, if video podcasters have an edge over audio podcasters, he says 👇

While you're at it, check out our candid conversation with Joe Casabona.

Is there a future for audio podcasting?

Duh! 🤷🏻‍♀️

The dilemma is real, though! With apps such as Clubhouse (once touted as the app to be on!) slowing down, the conversation about video versus audio proliferates. And if we're being honest, we can't always bolt out of this conversation.

But creators such as Sam Fragroso who hosts Talk Easy Podcast and Eli Rallo who runs Miss Congeniality offer such immersive and intimate experiences to their listeners that I cannot fathom watching them on video. Remember late night radio shows?

Joe Casabona says, “I firmly believe that as more people start, we’ll need audio podcasts to step up their storytelling game. Listeners are getting tired of “raw, unedited” interviews. Most of them want to learn something. Are a result, we’ll see more story-driven educational content, and shorter shows that teach a singular point.” 💯

But if audio podcasters choose to pick vodcasting, and aren't comfortable in front of the camera, Joe has solid advice for them. 👇

Some podcasters' feathers are barely ruffled by what the internet thinks is relevant. ✨

Sneha says, "Look at Last Podcast On The Left and Crime Junkie! Both have stayed true to the audio format and have only gone from strength to strength. They've managed to do this by staying authentic and creating what they believe in."

Audio podcasts are not dying, and certainly, there's a future! As long as great content and stories are on the platter, listeners will continue to tune in.

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