In the second year of the pandemic, people switched to audio due to blue screen fatigue like never before. And, without a doubt, podcasting has established itself as the breakthrough content medium of 2021. Witnessing explosive year-over-year growth, podcasts are arguably the fastest growing medium of entertainment. , relatively inexpensive and extremely effective. According to the recently released RedSeer report, it is estimated that there will be 95 million monthly active users for online audio content by the end of 2021.
Besides the ability to tell a great story and hold a conversation, the future of podcasts lies in its ability to be monetized. With well-thought-out strategies, a tipping point is around the corner.
Interest of the advertiser
The sudden explosion in popularity of podcasts naturally caught the attention of avid advertisers. The number of brands that are interested in using podcasts as a medium to reach their target audience is growing. The reason? Podcasts are very personal and provide an intimate experience. And it’s this personal nature of podcasts that helps create high engagement states receptive to brand mentions. By having the podcast theme around a topic related to their product or service, brands can establish themselves as authorities by reaching out to the right audience at the right time.
Advertisers will see the value of podcasts based on key metrics such as time spent, listener location, demographics, and of course, the volume generated by any content. Much of the podcast content continues to be rich in knowledge and learning; and categories like finance, self-help and mental health continue to attract listeners. The big change in 2022, however, will be that much of this content will be consumed in regional languages. For now, English and Hindi rule the roost, but there are big regional creators who will help attract more audiences.
But what about monetization? In addition to advertising, sponsorships, and other brand-specific needs, subscriptions are quickly becoming a viable source of revenue for creators.
As the income opportunities for podcasters grow, there are certain challenges that need to be overcome. Good distribution of content for growth is essential; without it, brands cannot take advantage of the wide reach the medium can offer. Additionally, choosing the right hosting partner that also offers ad serving capabilities is also essential to ensure measurability of campaigns and gauge success.
pay to listen
Tools like Substack have popularized the paid creator economy. Platforms like Apple Podcasts (and more to come) also provide a similar opportunity for podcasters. You create content, pay the fees you want to charge listeners, and your slot machine is on! Although this is an oversimplification, it will be a significant source of revenue for 2022.
The mix of free and premium subscription-based templates also gives new users plenty of leeway to choose what they want. Major studios and shows around the world have jumped on the bandwagon to showcase the benefits of subscription and are starting to see positive results. These include ad-free viewing, additional content, and early or exclusive access to new series.
The way podcasts are created, as well as consumed, is representative of changing patterns and trends. They are winning the hearts of Indians and becoming a content format whose popularity will only increase. As users turn to new ways to be entertained, gain knowledge, and engage with their favorite genres through podcasts, the industry is set to experience a boom in advertising revenue as monetization will soon become a reality.
The author is co-founder, Ideabrew Studios
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