Is Australia Entering The Golden Age Of Podcasting?

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In this opinion piece, Acast’s MD AUNZ Henrik Isaksson shares what brands and content creators need to know about podcasting in Australia.

Podcasting in Australia has moved far beyond its infancy – so much so that 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the podcast.

We see this both in the numbers and podcast players.

Recent listening reports show 83 per cent of Australians are now aware of podcasts. Advertisers are jumping on board with PwC predicting the Australian podcast market will grow from $5M in 2018 to a whopping $110M in 2022.

And on the traditional media front, the past year alone broadcasters such as Network 10 and Network 7, and radio players Nova and SCA have all announced partnerships to better manage, grow and distribute content across podcast platforms.

As the Australian podcast market reaches its maturity, more and more content curators, listeners and advertisers will continue to embrace the medium.

While it’s often totted that Australia is catching up to the rest of the podcasting world, there are some unique differences – and exciting opportunities – for Australian brands and podcast creators.

Here’s what we think the industry can look forward to:

1) Further on-demand audience growth

Until recently, network content was only made available on that network. Now media players such as Nova, Network 10, Channel 7, Vice and The Guardian Australia have an open podcast distribution thanks to tech platforms like Acast.

This gives consumers a plethora of fantastic content wherever they want it, on any podcast platform they want. And it’s fueled massive audience growth, with Acast listenership up by 300 per cent in the last 12 months alone.

We’ve seen globally that once bigger media players start investing and promoting local content, audience growth explodes. That’s what we’re now seeing here in Australia and more players are yet to launch their audio offering which can only mean further growth.

2) Blue-chip brands entering the medium

As the audience grows, so too will the advertising investment. But where Australia is unique to other podcast markets is that already blue-chip brands are investing heavily in podcast advertising.

We are now seeing return investment from some of Australia’s largest financial institutions, automotive brands and FMCG brands. These are some of the biggest and smartest advertisers in the country, all of whom are using podcast advertising to engage and attract audiences.

In other markets these blue-chip clients were slower to come to the podcasting table – it shows that Australian marketers are ahead of the curve when it comes to podcast advertising.

3) More straight-forward buying methods

With brands now seeing podcasting as an uncluttered, safe and engaging media environment, companies like Acast have built tools to ensure podcast advertising can be bought at scale using traditional buying methods.

This means the era of baked in ads is gone, replaced by dynamic audio insertion.

Further growth lies in self-serve tools for publishers and podcasters, which will help them better manage their inventory across shows.

The industry is also working to define new measurement guidelines, which will only help solidify the medium.

4) More local content investment

In line with ad spend, comes more investment in local podcast content.

Hits like The Teachers Pet, The Lady Vanishes and even The Osher Günsberg Podcast have proven that Australian podcasts can compete for listeners and attract global media attention.

Already this year we’ve seen traditional media players launch new podcasts such as The Professor and the Hack (Network 10), Better Ideas (Network 7) and Police Tape (NOVA Entertainment & NewsCorp) to name a few.

As the local industry continues to thrive, both traditional and indie content curators are seeing podcasting as a legitimate revenue stream outside of the existing media model. And as local industry spend grows, so too will the investment in local podcast content.

5) Ongoing love of niche players

While it may seem like podcasting has been taken over by big media and money, there’s still a great role and opportunity for niche content creators.

Recently Acast announced the acquisition of Pippa, a leading podcast tech platform that allows anyone to create and monetize their own podcast.

Our hope is that the next My Dad Wrote a Porno or Casefile – both runaway hits that were started by niche, independent content curators – will be produced here in Australia.

The above is just a sample of what’s to come. Podcasting is an exploding industry – we’re looking forward to more growth and great content this year and beyond.

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