The Podcasting Crystal Ball

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    In our continuing series about the future of podcasting, we check in with Evo Terra. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be asking a long line of experts to summarize 2019 and give us their insights on what to expect in 2020. Evo is a professional contrarian and host of Podcast Pontifications.

    PBJ: How would you summarize podcasting in 2019?
    Evo Terra: The Year Of Acquisitions

    PBJ: What surprised you the most about 2019?
    Evo Terra: While I’m not surprised by the flurry of transactions, the scale of those transactions did surprise me. I wouldn’t have bet on $1BN. Not even half of that.

    PBJ: What three things do you expect to happen in 2020?
    Evo Terra: More big and bold moves from Spotify as they spend (and innovate) their way to more market share (most of this will come from bringing new listeners into the fold rather than convincing current podcast consumers to switch apps, though that is certainly a possibility if they can demonstrate a better way.)

    Apple & Google continue to iterate and evolve, but probably not as fast. The first will almost certainly experiment in content creation and monetization. The former will remain focused on their unique take on “discovery.” Big investments in original content from other media. Yes, TV and movie studios. But also book publishing, live streaming, and social platforms.

    PBJ: There seems to be some anger toward radio getting into the space. Isn’t it a good thing that more players no matter where they come from – are joining the podcasting craze?
    Evo Terra: Meh. Someone is always angry. More people listening to great content delivered as a podcast is a good thing. And just like we’re a nation of immigrants, I really don’t care where you come from. Serve up some amazing content and change our landscape for the better of the listeners I drone on about. I’m good with that.

    PBJ: Will subscription models survive the long haul?
    Evo Terra: Of course. Some will even thrive.

    PBJ: What will advertisers think of podcasts over the next 1-3 years?
    Evo Terra: They’ll embrace them and continue to pour more and more money into the space, especially as the (massive) barriers to entry and scale come down, either with new offerings or improved workflows. And no, neither GDPR or CCPA are a death-knell for podcast advertising.

    Evo Terra can be reached by e-mail at thisisevo@gmail.com

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