Deloitte suggests podcasting growth ahead | radioinfo

Deloitte suggests podcasting growth ahead

Tuesday 18 February, 2020

It is perhaps a return to ways of old.

Vinyl revenue grew by 8% in 2018. Print book markets expanded as newspapers and magazines sales contracted and the audiobook market in the UK alone was worth around US $85 million.

The costs of producing audiobooks and podcasts are enticing too, with the removal of printing costs and reduction in advances and promotion. Indeed, the biggest cost is time.

Podcast audio quality has meant a financial gap between them and audio books. But, those with higher production qualities are becoming more discerning about the frequency with which they release their episodes. Interview style podcasts, trying to enter an already flooded market, can simply cease to provide new content, a process called “podfader”.

Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Insights 2020 report suggests that this time, perhaps, the radio industry should be worried. 90% of US podcast devotees also listened to the radio but listening time is declining, down nearly 4% year over year. The steepest decline was in the under 50s.

Given that it was thought that self-driving cars might be the “video” that killed the radio star, it is also notable that two thirds of out of home podcast and/or audio book listening occurs in a vehicle.

Reaching $1 billion in revenue is still barely a blip in the US media landscape but, if growth of 25 and 30% per year respectively for audio books and podcasting continues, they can become significant players. For that to occur podcasting needs better regulation and monetising structures. While there are so many free options, it will be as hard for podcasts to obtain funding as online newspapers are finding, now people don’t pay for them over the counter.

View the full report here.





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19 February 2020 - 11:55am
Perhaps this indicates the poor quality of programming on radio, which could increase if they broadcast the podcasts and also leave them available for later replay. This would increase the popularity of these productions.
Anthony The Koala
19 February 2020 - 8:03pm
Four issues about podcasts (i) the quality of the content of podcasts, (ii) overflowing of podcasts, (iii) having support networks in order to get an audience, (iv) not to take a podcast as settled or 'gospel'.

(1) The valuable content of podcasts is variable. In January 2020 there was a promotion on 2GB of a certain podcast starring a "traffic reporter" and a comedian.

I downloaded the half-hour podcast and listened to it. The podcast could have been reduced to five minutes and mention the relevant websites at the end.

(2) Following (1), the market may well be overflowing with podcasts. There are courses on the web including the University of Wollongong's mini course on how to produce a "production quality" podcast.


Even with high quality production values, how does one choose the 'wheat' from the 'chaff'. Put it another way, how does one's podcast stand out?

Thus at the beginning of (2) I stress the word 'overflowing' rather than 'saturated'. The barriers to entry are low. Any person who wants to educate or has an axe to grind or is an 'expert' or has an ego can make a podcast.

As a consequence of the overflowing number of podcasts, many podcast producers may well burn out within a few episodes especially if there is very little downloads. It may well be that the podcast producer may have to 'soldier on' and build other kinds of networks until the number of downloads increase.

(3) Having 'support' networks. By network I don't mean a broadcasting network but also include business, professional and community organisations. The list is not exhaustive. Such networks may well form the publicity base for the author's podcasts.

When it comes to broadcasting, the broadcaster has already a 'support' network of its listeners. The ABC comes to mind with their slogan " can download the latest podcast at...." or 2GB with podcasts of their show or interview segments. These podcasts are available for those who missed the actual broadcast.

(4) The podcasts are high quality in content and production values, but don't take the content of these podcasts as "gospel" or "settled knowledge".

Lily Serna, a mathematician and a co-presenter of SBS tv's "Letters And Numbers" produced a podcast series on what makes a genius. It was the usual questions of what makes a person a genius nature or nurture.
Issues discussed include whether intelligence is 'fixed' and Malcolm Gladwell's concept of 10000 hours of applied learning.

The issues should not be treated as settled because people may well develop at different rates and that the 10000 hour concept has either been misapplied or does not necessarily applied.

But then you cannot get a smooth podcast narrative by including all the nooks and crannies of what is settled and what is not and the debates surrounding the issues raised in the podcast.

Therefore don't take notice of all the content of a podcast as settled.

From my experience, I have a very dear friend whose late father was a teacher and housemaster at a prestigious and elite boys school. One of his students was the former PM The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull. My friend's late father also studied at Oxford and was learned also in the field of ancient history.

One of the issues raised in the podcast was on intelligence being fixed. Long before the existence of podcasts I asked my friend's father how to improve one's intelligence.

A few years before I met my friend's father, I was told that I was no good for university and cannot imrprove my 'intelligence' by the school counsellor who was in cahoots with the year 12 coordinator who later self-harmed (if that issue affects you call Lifeline on 13-11-14 and/or an evidence-based AHPRA practitioner).

I asked my friend's father how to improve one's intelligence and he said to keep on reading widely. It worked for me and I have a law degree from UNSW (amongst others).

I also interviewed the famous US educator Jane Elliot on 2SER-fm radio. She said that one should not accept what teachers or authority figures define you as if one is from a low socio-economic status and in a rut.

My life story is not as simple as this, though I cannot say that what worked for me applies to you.

Irrespective of this I go to the original point about the the content of podcasts should not necessarily be taken as settled or 'gospel'.


Deloitte may well be correct that podcasts may take over radio broadcasts. The quality of the content and broadcast quality of a applies to both broadcasts and podcasts.

Even if one can produce a high quality podcast, there is an overflow of podcasts on the network. To get noticed needs a support network such as business or professional groups or from a radio broadcaster's audience.

Similarly even if the podcast is well-produced and contains content, don't take the content of the podcast as settled or 'gospel' especially if the issues are debatable.

Thank you
Anthony of opinionated Belfield
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