2 March 2023 968 words, 4 min. read

Declining podcast market: still a good inbound strategy?

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
The podcast market is experiencing a significant decline after several years of crazy growth. Podcast growth is down 80% from 2020. Spotify regrets its investments in the field (100m€/year) and has to lay off staff to avoid sinking. How to […]

The podcast market is experiencing a significant decline after several years of crazy growth. Podcast growth is down 80% from 2020. Spotify regrets its investments in the field (100m€/year) and has to lay off staff to avoid sinking. How to explain this phenomenon? Is it still interesting to launch a branded podcast in 2023? In this article, I share my analysis based on market statistics and my experience as a podcaster.

Podcast market in 2023: Statistics

  • 1.02 million: the number of podcasts created in 2020
  • 224,000: the number of podcasts created in 2022
  • 80%: the growth of new podcasts between 2020 and 2022
  • 370,000: the number of active podcasts
  • 3,041,565: the number of existing podcasts
  • 38% of Americans listened to at least one podcast in a month in 2022
  • 41% of Americans had listened to at least one podcast in a month in 2021
  • 26%: the number of French people who listened to at least one podcast in 2022 (17.6 million)
  • 90% of podcasts do not pass the 3-episode mark
  • 1% of podcasts have more than 21 episodes
  • 55% of branded podcasts are longer than 30 minutes

Summary

7 mistakes to avoid for your branded podcast

  1. Tackling a theme that is too general
  2. Starting your episodes with “small talk”
  3. Not taking into account the metrics provided by the podcasting platforms
  4. Drowning your listeners in Calls To Action (CTA)
  5. Measuring your success by the number of downloads
  6. Not promoting your podcast
  7. Settling for poor audio and video quality

Branded podcast

The podcast market will consolidate in 2023

The podcast market has been showing signs of consolidation since 2022. After exploding on the back of confinements, new podcasts fell from 1.02 million in 2020 to 224,000 in 2022. This represents an 80% drop in 2 years. How to explain it?

The confinements represented an opportunity for many fans to test this new format. But it is clear that the barriers to podcasting have risen:

1. amateur creators have less time to devote to it
2. the competition is great
3. the abandonment rate is high (only 1% of podcasts pass the 21-episode mark)

The American market has now reached maturity. It was 41% in 2021 and has dropped to 38% in 2022. This is likely due to less available time than in 2021 and an increasingly competitive market. The number of Americans who listen to at least one podcast monthly is no longer increasing.

Other markets are less competitive. These markets are outside the US and, generally, for non-English-language podcasts. In France, for example, only 26% of French people have listened to at least one podcast … in a year.

Before launching your branded podcast, you should keep these statistics in mind.

Contact IntoTheMinds to launch your branded podcast


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Is it still worth launching a branded podcast?

With the rise of tools like ChatGPT, certain types of content will become completely obsolete. Some websites have much to worry about, as we can reasonably expect an avalanche of similar content generated by generative AI. It is, therefore, crucial to develop strategies to:

  • retain your website, visitors
  • talk to them directly, i.e., without the filter of a search engine

The branded podcast can be a winning strategy to establish this direct contact with customers. The format costs relatively little to produce and can generate leads. However, you need to have iron discipline and not give up. It is indeed around regular publications that your audience will be built, and your popularity will develop. However, only 10% of podcasts pass the 3rd episode, and 1% pass the 20th.


Only 10% of podcasts pass the 3rd episode, and 1% pass the 20th.


I have produced over 40 episodes in the first 2 seasons of my podcast. I had a lot of fun and then got a bit bored. Today I’m preparing for a new season, and I’ve been thinking a lot beforehand to reach my goals. Here are my 5 priorities.


priorities Branded podcast

The 5 priorities to make your branded podcast a success

I see 5 priorities for your branded podcast.

Choose an evergreen theme

An “evergreen” theme stays relevant for several years. Some podcasters have started to follow the news. This strategy for a branded podcast could be better because this type of content needs to be updated. The content of a good branded podcast must remain relevant for a lengthy period.

Avoid the 100% interview mode, where there is a lot of competition

My first 2 seasons were in interview mode. It’s the easiest thing to do if you have good guests and know your stuff. The problem is that everyone is doing it, and there is a lot of competition. For season 3 of my podcast, I will have 2 guests per episode to compare points of view and enrich the content.

Alternate short interview sequences with analysis/summary

We need more and more capacity to concentrate. You have to conceive your podcast as a succession of short sequences. I intersperse them with summaries/analyses as Jay Clouse does in “Creative Elements.”

Double your audio podcast with a video podcast

Multiplying distribution channels also involve YouTube. I’ve tried streaming audio podcasts on YouTube, but it doesn’t work. You need a video. Today podcast platforms allow you to record both audio and video streams. Take advantage of this to create a video version.

Use short video clips to promote your podcast

Promoting your podcast is essential. Use all possible channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, YouTube Shorts) by broadcasting short sequences that will make people want to see the full content.


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Conclusion

The branded podcast is an inbound marketing strategy that must be used. At a time when search engines are transforming themselves with generative AI, we must redouble our efforts to be no longer dependent on Google and SEO alone.

Anticipate the important changes coming in the months and years to come. The European market is behind the American market, and many opportunities remain to be seized. If you would like to talk about it, contact us!



Posted in Marketing.

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