The future of podcasting: 7 trends to watch

In 2022, the overall number of monthly podcast listeners will rise by 15.5% to 383.7 million. The number of listeners is expected to increase to 424.2 million next year.

The future of podcasting is lively and filled with innovation and potential, it’s hard to keep up with what’s next. If you’re curious about the future of podcasting and where to invest in yourself and your brand’s marketing strategy, read on to understand trends of the podcasting space.

Trend One: Raised Content Standards
Although podcasts have been around for a while, their increase in popularity in recent years means listeners have high expectations. With more podcasts available, if your content isn’t top notch, listeners will abandon it quickly.

However, compared to other content forms like YouTubes or blogs, there still aren’t that many podcasts around. There’s a lot of pressure for podcasts to rise in popularity by pumping out quality content.

Qualitative factors to take into account include:

  • Audio quality
  • Content or topic choice/relevance
  • Video quality (if a video podcast)
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Branding

Trend Two: Influencer Hosts
Podcasting and social media are intertwined industries. Social media is an integral tool for brand-building, helping you attract listeners and promote your podcast. While a podcast’s branding does matter, the host’s brand matters equally as much and many podcast hosts are capitalizing on this.

In 2022, we’re seeing podcasters using their influence for marketing and collaborating with brands for sponsorships, expanding the monetization potential for podcasts.

Trend Three: Podcasts as marketing tools
A CNBC study revealed that 78% of listeners said they approve of podcast advertising, 63% of podcast listeners said they bought something after hearing a podcast ad and around 67% of listeners said they remembered products or brands from a podcast ad. Advertising and Marketing will continue to be a growing part of podcasting as the industry develops, as evidenced by more and more brands advertising their products on podcast shows or even developing their own podcasts.

Trend Four: Repurposing Content
48% of monthly podcast downloads come from older episodes. With more podcast content than ever being published and competing for listeners, maximizing the reach and influence of your older content is so important. Don’t underestimate the value of your older episodes and archives.

We recommend taking sound byte clips and sharing your most popular podcast highlights on social media to repurpose content across more platforms.

Trend Five: The Land Grab of the Audio Content Industry
Clubhouse disrupted the podcast space in 2020, paving the way for other live audio apps to develop. Since then, live audio has grown tremendously, attracting the attention of Spotify and Facebook, with Spotify establishing Spotify Greenrooms and Facebook developing Live Audio Rooms. Even social media platforms like Twitter, Discord, and Reddit introduced voice or audio features in 2021. Media giants are actively trying to get in on audio, and we’ll see continued innovation as brands strive to outgrow others in the audio content industry.

Innovative new features like dynamic ad insertions have transformed audio content creation. Podcast hosting platforms and apps like Captivate and Anchor have increased their capabilities to offer new opportunities to share and monetize your audio.

Trend Six: Voice search optimization
According to Google, “27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile” instead of typing. This is one of the reasons Google introduced a podcast search feature that enables people to listen to podcasts through the search results, and allows users to search for suitable podcasts based on any keywords in the episode. Podcasters should be creating SEO-focused content to ensure their show appears when searched.

Trend Seven: Data-driven Decisions
As with other content-creative forms, analytics are playing a vital role in improving podcast decision-making. Podcast producers and hosts are using data to understand the impact of their episodes and to further improve the listener experience.

To remain competitive, podcasters have to make data-driven decisions, like making your content reader-friendly, researching keywords to target popular content, putting marketing effort into amplifying and repurposing the appropriate content, and developing listener profiles from marketing or listener data.

Podcast creators should understand their audience and create targeted content and experiences to increase listener engagement.

One thing is certain: we’re looking forward to a lot of great podcasts in the remainder of 2022.

Motivate Talent has its own podcast & live streaming studio, “The Live Room” which is available for rehearsing, media training and recording sessions. For more information please contact [email protected].