Is it harder to create a new podcast?
Ariel Shapiro from the Hot Pod newsletter has reported that “it is so much harder to launch a podcast now than it was, say, three or four years ago.” Shapiro cites data compiled by Chartr from Listen Notes, fewer podcasts were created in 2022 than in the two years prior. Even so, the margin is shocking: the number of new shows created dropped by nearly 80 percent between 2020 and 2022.
Shapiro theorizes that “some of that can be attributed to the pandemic — podcast creation peaked in 2020 when people truly had nothing better to do.”
The number of new shows in 2022 was even lower than pre-pandemic levels: 337,063 podcasts were launched in 2019, compared to 219,178 in 2022. New episode creation has done a little better. Though still lower than 2020 and 2021 figures, Listen Notes logged 26.1 million new episodes published in 2022, up from the 18.1 million episodes in 2019.
Podcast discovery continues to be an ongoing issue, with so many podcasts (and good ones at that) competing for the ears of an audience that, in many cases, doesn’t even know they exist. The decreasing number of new podcasts may be due to the realization that launching a podcast may be a losing proposition. The system seemingly cannot effectively handle the number of podcasts that already exist.
That’s why websites like EarBuds Podcast Collective with its rich storehouse of podcast recommendations is such a critical resource for podcasters and podcast listeners.
Podcast trends from 2022 and beyond
Total downloads are one thing, but what podcast categories are listened-to longest? Recently, Podnews received data from Apple Podcasts. According to the data supplied, the top five categories with the longest overall global listen time, are: (1) Society and Culture, (2) Comedy, (3) News, (4) True Crime, and (5) Health and Fitness. That data is for December, but is much the same for the last half of the year, with Health and Fitness occasionally making it to #4.
How about overall podcast listening trends for 2022 worldwide? Here are some facts that may have interest for you.
Currently, there are 464.7 million podcast listeners globally.
It is predicted that there will be around 504.9 million podcast listeners worldwide by the end of 2024.
As of January 2023, there are over five million podcasts, with over 70 million episodes between them.
The United States has the most podcast listeners in the world. It is predicted that over 100 million active podcast listeners will be in the U.S. in 2023. One-third of the American population listens to podcasts regularly, while 78 percent of the U.S. population is aware of podcasts. Out of which, 28 percent listen to podcasts weekly.
160 million U.S. residents have listened to podcasts at least once. Back in 2006, only 20 percent of the American population was aware of podcasts. Now 17 years later, the number has reached 78 percent.
Scandinavian countries have the highest podcast penetration rate. People in Sweden listen to podcasts the most, and 47 percent of Swedish residents claim that they have listened to at least one podcast in the previous year.
Smart speaker sales increased by 22 percent during the pandemic, and it is one of the most popular channels in which to listen to podcasts.
Nearly 91 percent of Australian residents are aware of podcasts.
Podcast listening is highest in the morning, and most of the podcasts are listened to on a mobile phone.
As of early 2023, the podcasting industry is valued at $2 billion. The podcasting industry will be worth $4 billion in 2024.
When you need a Golden Goose
Golden Goose Creative is the home to creative female podcasters who can supply aspirational and experienced podcasters with post-production and other podcasting support, and tools to build strategic plans to grow listeners, monetization, and more.
Earlier this month, Golden Goose published an excellent article on their blog, called How to Prevent Podcast Failure. You can read it here.
Here’s an excerpt where they discuss something called Podfade.
“One, very common, issue that causes podcast failure is ‘Podfading’. What does that mean? Podfading, essentially, is when a creator stops their podcast all of a sudden, or seemingly out of the blue! This is not the same as podcasts that was only meant to have a set number of shows/ or a limited series.
“The podcast was not intended to end but production stopped, therefore, resulting in viewers losing interest. Because of this, even if the creator wants to start back up they have to start from scratch. Which can result in podcast failure. Why might this happen?
“Well there is a plethora of reasons that a creator may end their show. You may lose focus, for whatever reason. Maybe you had your podcasts’ planned for the first 2 months and after those plans were used it became difficult to think of new ideas.”
The creatives at Golden Goose leave us with this important piece of wisdom about podcasting: “While creating a podcast is really fun, it is also a lot of work.”
About the Creator
I am a South Jersey-based author who is a writer for the Pod-Alization podcast blog on Substack, Ear Worthy on Medium, Podcast Reports on Blogger, Auditorily on Vocal and The Listening Post on Tealfeed.