9 Podcast Trends to Follow
So far, 2020 has been a year of explosive growth for podcasting. Growing by nearly 30 percent and with shows numbering in the hundreds of thousands, podcasting in 2020 has been incredibly exciting and fast-paced. An industry that’s been powered by innovation from its inception, podcasting has expanded by leaps and bounds this year – and we’ve seen a number of interesting podcasting trends that prove it’s a medium that’s always evolving.
Whether you’re a podcaster in the making or just an enthusiastic listener for now, here are nine trends in 2020 podcasting that have industry insiders buzzing.
1) More competition for podcasting platforms
Until recently, Apple and Spotify have been the frontrunners when it comes to podcasting platform competition. But now, it appears that a leader is emerging: recent data from The Podcast Host shows that nearly 50 percent of 12-34-year-olds used Spotify every month in 2020 thus far, while just 20 percent opted to use Apple.
But the competition is likely to get even more fierce as 2020 continues, and we move into 2021. Features like network original content and social network streaming networks join the fray as new networks try to claim their spot.
2) Added focus on the user experience
Data insights have made it easier than ever to pinpoint exactly what podcast listeners like – and what they don’t. There is plenty of room for improvement in some podcast genres, while others have already been working at refining the overall user experience.
With data-driven analysis at the ready, podcasts are doing more than ever to make sure you enjoy every second of every episode.
3) Live streaming and podcast events
As the podcast industry has expanded, both professionals and listeners can interact, network, and engage. Broadcasting live shows has become widely popular while networking events and conferences have grown in number. Now, not only can podcasters meet up and build valuable connections in the industry, but fans and listeners can enjoy a completely unique, in-person experience as well.
4) Top-quality content
Interestingly, the demographics of podcast listeners tend to lean towards college-educated professionals and entrepreneurs. What does that mean for podcasters and content creators? Listeners have particularly high expectations regarding the quality of podcasting, both in terms of content and production.
Additionally, despite its rapid growth rate, the podcasting industry is still in a relative state of infancy. Compared to blogs and YouTube channels, which number in the hundreds of millions, there are only about 800,000 podcasts as of 2020. On the one hand, that means that it’s still possible for new podcasts to get their big break. But at the same time, that means that the standards are set very high, and content reigns supreme.
5) Voice search optimization
As our smartphones and other devices get even smarter, technologies like voice search are becoming increasingly commonplace. In 2020, half of all searches were conducted using voice technology, and Google added podcasts to their search engine results pages.
As a result, optimizing your podcast episodes for voice searches has never been more important. Understanding the basics of search engine optimization is a new skill that podcasters are figuring out in order to stay relevant.
6) More advertising
In most cases, advertising is only barely tolerated by consumers. But surprisingly, advertising on podcasts is not just accepted by many listeners; it’s actually something that many people are very receptive towards.
Because there is a certain relationship and trust level established between a podcast host and listener, the conditions are ideal for advertising. Many listeners consider their favorite hosts as a trusted source of information, making them more open to hearing (and even acting upon) ads featured during episodes.
7) Big brands joining the market
Blogs, email, and social media have been the digital marketing mediums of choice for many brands until recently. Now that podcasting has proved that it’s here to stay – and that its listener base holds a considerable amount of potential for profits – more brands are looking to launch their own podcasts.
Brands could choose to create content that’s tailored specifically for prospective customers, internal teams, or even both. But one thing that’s certain is that many companies are making 2020 the year they jump into podcasting.
8) New niches
One of the biggest benefits of podcasting – for listeners and creators alike – is that niche content has long been the name of the game. In 2020, podcasting trends have launched even more niche channels and shows.
Despite seeing an exceptional expansion in the past several years, the podcasting industry still has lots of room to grow. This means that there are still a number of niches up for grabs, as well as a variety of formats that present new creative opportunities.
9) Programmatic advertising
We already covered the increase in podcast advertising in 2020, but this has also been the year that ads have become smarter than ever. Programmatic advertising, which utilizes technologies such as algorithms and artificial intelligence, is making it possible to buy and optimize advertising in real-time. For advertisers, this is a promising trend in terms of efficiency, though it will be vital for them to balance automation with the personalization and sense of authenticity that podcast listeners expect.
Find Your Path to Professional Podcasting
In the world of media, podcasting is undoubtedly one of the most promising fields to be a part of – especially if you want a career that’s always on the cusp on the latest technology and trends. As the field of podcasting continues to grow, competition is only going to get more intense. That means, if you want to know how to become a professional podcaster, standing out from the crowd is going to be key.
Learn everything you need to know about starting a media career at the Media Schools, located in Miami, Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio. Whether you envision yourself as a podcast host, producer, audio technician, or podcast network manager, we offer a wide range of programs to help you get started. Not only will you spend time diving into the classroom curriculum under the instruction of experts in the field, but you’ll also gain hands-on experiences that will give you a true feel for your future career. Here, you can develop your passion for podcasts into a lifelong career.
For more information about what education you need to become a podcaster and how our degree programs can help you break into the media industry, contact the Media Schools to start the enrollment process today.
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