Podcast’s rising popularity and implications

When a new service/product rises, it usually elevates several support services/products as well. For instance, smartphones’ popularity was piggybacked by the rise of support services or products such as phone maintenance, smartphone cases and applications. The same case can be applied to podcasts. As podcasts continue to capture consumer interest with 2018 as the banner year, I suspect that support services and the whole podcast ecosystem will come alive in the near future.

Content creator

The presence of Spotify offers content creators an additional stream of revenue. If featured, creators can earn money whenever their content is consumed, in the same way that artists are compensated for their songs. Of course, content owners can still generate income from the tried-and-tested method of advertising. But having two streams of revenue is definitely better than having only one, isn’t it?

In extreme cases, some podcasts can be acquired in exchange for exclusive access as platforms engage in a hunting race to woo users. Creators with unique insights or knowledge will be better compensated for their hard work than they would in the past. Hence, niche podcasts will be springing up like mushrooms after the rain.

Content platform

Content creators can publish their work everywhere now, whether it’s Apple Podcast, Stitcher or Spotify. A normal piece of content is hardly exclusive. However, a platform needs exclusivity and original content to differentiate itself. Hence, if you are a comedian or an expert in a field such as archaeology, astronomy or economics and you deliver great content, you may be cast for an original show and earn money for your knowledge. Platforms are likely going on a shopping spree to secure highly sought-after content just like Spotify did with the acquisition of Gimlet Media. That way, the acquirers can reduce marginal costs to almost zero and become more profitable as the rate of consumption grows.

Support services

We already saw Anchor, a startup that specializes in podcast distribution, acquired by Spotify shortly after Anchor was founded. As more podcasts are created, marketers need tools to easily edit audio and turn audio into text. Transcripts will facilitate interaction with users and a boon for their SEO. In that sense, I expect that startups such as Descript will see more opportunities in the coming months.

More podcast consumption means rising interest from advertisers. As a consequence, there will be demand for data analytics to optimize advertising. Brands will be willing to pay to link podcast advertising with conversion into actual purchase, whether the purchase is online or offline.

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