Podcasting is poised to be one of the fastest-growing media channels in 2020, according to new research from Deloitte.
The consultancy firm’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions report, released today, suggests 2020 is the year podcasting emerges from “radio’s shadow”.
Australian podcasting revenue is set to outpace the 30 per cent growth rate predicted globally to reach $47 million in 2020, equating to 62 per cent growth.
“Australia’s love for mobile devices and insatiable appetite for entertaining and educational content are the real driving factors for growth in this space,” said Deloitte media lead partner Adam Power.
“The rise of celebrity podcasters and true crime series continues to fuel audience growth and advertiser interest.
“As this platform enjoys steady growth, brands, publishers, creators, agencies and media buyers should all consider how they explore this group of active and engaged audiences.”
According to Deloitte, the most in-demand genres for Australian consumers are current affairs (36 per cent), comedy (28 per cent) and true crime (25 per cent).
For publishers, podcasting provides a way to take a ‘deep dive’ into certain topics, while low production costs also make it a great way for newcomers to enter the market.
On the advertising side, Deloitte implores brands to start moving their ad spend towards this ever-growing channel.
“Agencies and media buyers need to develop strategic and creative offerings in the channel,” the report states. “They must start treating podcasting as a standalone channel rather than part of radio and streaming.”
the monetisation problem
But with 1.6 million Australians now regularly downloading podcasts, the $47 million to be made in podcasting revenue this year could be considered rather modest.
Despite the expected growth, there are still significant issues around monetising podcasts, the report finds.
This can be attributed to the multiple and varying revenue streams, whether it be advertising and sponsorships, subscriptions, events, merchandise, content marketing, contracts for branded podcasts, or individual listener donations.
“Because the barriers to podcasting are low, anyone can (and a great many do) make them: As of 2019, more than 700,000 podcast series encompassing 29 million episodes were active, and most were basically free for the listening,” says the report.
“So long as people can listen to thousands of hours of high-quality podcasts essentially for free, profit-motivated podcasters will have a hard time getting listeners to actually pay for content.”
Another trend outlined in the report is the rise of enterprise podcasts, where businesses host their own podcasts as part of media and marketing efforts.
With both B2B and B2C brands now investing in their own podcasts, Deloitte values the global enterprise podcast industry at $US1 billion ($1.5 billion).
The quality and overall value of these podcasts varies greatly, however, the report points out the low production costs associated with podcasts mean it is usually worth the investment.
“The return on investment (ROI) on enterprise podcasts is likely to be quite high, especially given how inexpensive they typically are to make,” the report says.
“What makes podcasts especially economical is that businesses have likely already invested millions of dollars in creating content and building expertise that might make for compelling podcast material.
A company might spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct a single research study, print out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of reports based on the study, and spend tens of thousands of dollars more on videos to promote the study.
“Spending an incremental US$500 on a podcast is such a low additional cost that triple-digit ROIs seem almost assured.”
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