The Podcasting Space Is A Bit Of A Mess

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That’s according to Edison Research Senior VP Tom Webster. And the reason Webster said this during his keynote speech as Podcast Movement on Wednesday is because there is no longer a clear way to define what a podcast is.

Webster showed video clips of podcast listeners. Some were new listeners (rookies) and some were long-time listeners (veterans). The new research showed that as new listeners come into the space they are discovering podcasts in many ways, and not necessarily in audio format.

Webster gave several examples of how the lines are being blurred and things are changing. The first was Joe Rogan’s podcast. Rogan is tracking as the number one show halfway through Edison’s brand new podcast tracking system. Rogan also has over 7 million video views of his podcast. Do you add those views to the numbers?

Tom Webster

What iHeartRadio is doing is another example. The radio giant will soon start broadcasting podcasts on radio stations across the country every Sunday. Webster says that’s great news for podcasting but that’s not really a podcast. It’s not downloadable and it’s not on a podcast device. How would you count listens and downloads to those shows?

Edison’s research also pointed out that rookie podcast listeners are discovering podcasts on YouTube and Facebook Live before they ever hear a podcast on a podcast app. Webster’s solution for all of this disruption in the space, and confusion about what a podcast is, is to be everywhere, because the audience is control.

He says it’s no longer good enough to just say, “subscribe to my show wherever you listen to your favorite podcast.” Why? Because what if they discover podcasts on a platform where they cannot get your show? 

Webster advised podcasters to do three things:
1) Be where the listeners are because they will encounter your content, not seek it out.
2) Live where they are because they are where they are.
3) Love where they are because they are not going to be corralled anywhere else.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. As a listener I don’t particularly think it’s a mess. Some listening apps are a mess but on the whole are pretty good. As a producer, yes there are questions about stuff but again, on the whole, things are quite positive and almost every week we can look forward to a new announcement which helps move us all forward. Some years ago I was working in industry and technology and one day felt I had to apologise to an end user for the mess the technology was in. She said that from where she was sitting everything was fine. It made me realise that when you’re organising, and everything seems disorganised, the only people who think this way are the organisers themselves because they are so close to it. So I’d just say thanks to all the organisers of the moment, every one of you. The hosting companies and the app builders and others. All is good. And the stats are getting there too!

  2. I don’t think calling the event a “podcast” is appropriate. I sense the term came about as a result of the ipod where people indeed could download content, but that was it. I prefer the term “broadcast.” That term defines the program, whether audio or video, ss it is being “broadcast” over a website or internet radio station, as is my show. I would agree with poster Paul Cheall regarding the all the apps out there for listening apps. It’s impossible for a producer to be able to submit a show to all of them. And then, there seems to be a new podcast distro company opening up its doors every day. No wonder there’s confusion. My show has been on the air since 2007–on commercial radio and as a podcast, and, the number of listeners continue to grow, outpacing the number of listeners we had on commercial radio.

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