Podcasting Faces Significant Challenges

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Tim Peterson attended the Winter Upfronts held in Los Angeles this week and has some excellent insight on the event in a new piece in Digiday.

And we thought the most compelling takeaway from Peterson was a quote in his piece from Horizon Media’s Lindsay Mendoza who made it clear there’s still no easy way to know which podcasts to buy. “Everyone has a podcast now. Trying to navigate all of the available podcasts is one of the biggest challenges ad buyers face. A lot of the time I’m sitting and Googling top 10 podcast shows. Right now I feel like I’m having to put so many feelers out to find one or two podcasts I like.”

That’s an obvious problem the industry will have to fix. The last thing you want is ad buyers throwing darts or going to the Apple charts, which can clearly be manipulated, as we have written about in the past. On the bright side, if you have a lot of downloads and listens and you are a good salesperson, you might as well pick up the phone and get to know the buyers. You have nothing to lose.

These are interesting and challenging times for the podcasting industry. And we will certainly see how long-time podcasters feel about how things are changing and moving when they gather in Orlando at Podfest in less than two weeks. One respected podcasting executive told PBJ earlier this week, “The space has leaped forward in a way now that has created a rather unpredictable set of yet unrealized consequences that are unclear right now.”

Adding to the confusion is the fact that so many new podcasts are being released every day, and from every angle. From the independent podcasters to highly recognizable names across all industries. Yesterday alone Adrienne Barbeau (remember her) launched, singer and actor Joey Fatone launched and another True Crime series launched, just to name a few. When you add to all of the new releases the fact that there are supposedly over 600,000 podcasts out there somewhere (although a very small percentage of those podcasts are consistently releasing new episodes), it’s no wonder buyers are confused.