As Podcasting Matures, Publishers Grapple with Building Audience, Monetizing
Although podcasts have risen to new levels of popularity in recent years, the medium still has its challenges. Podcast creators, increasingly publishers like Slate, FiveThirtyEight, and Vanity Fair, struggle to reach new listeners because podcasts can be difficult to discover online, often isolated from the constant stream due to the limited sharability and SEO traction of audio. This makes it challenging for podcast creators to grow their audience beyond their most loyal followers.
Wired addresses this issue in a recent article, “To Attract New Listeners, Podcasts Need to Move Beyond Sound.” The article tracks the trajectory of Serial, the phenomenon that eliminated any doubt as to whether podcasts could have major mainstream appeal. “With its second season, Serial is shifting the paradigm for podcasts yet again by expanding the medium beyond just audio,” writes Wired’s Charley Locke. Serial has created a variety of media that can surround and support the podcast including photos, video interviews, and interactive maps that dive deeper into the story of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. This additional content is shared on Serial’s website and through social media.
“Through experiments with multimedia and even new distribution models, we’re about to find out just how far podcasts can spread. Serial is just the start,” writes Locke.
Publishing Executive has followed the growth of podcasts closely and shared how leaders at Slate and Inc. are taking advantage of the podcast opportunity in a 2015 feature. Both brands have found success monetizing their podcasting efforts through CPM and paid sponsorship models and are experimenting with unique distribution methods. And both brands host podcasts on Slate’s Panoply network, which launched last year. The network also features podcasts from New York Times Magazine, Real Simple, and Popular Science.
In an attempt to track the continuing evolution of the podcast opportunity for publishers, below is a collection of useful podcasting stories from around the web.
If you’re currently experimenting with podcasts at your company, we’d love to hear about your experience. Contact associate/digital editor Ellen Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your story and help inform the PubExec community as the publishing industry wrangles with this new opportunity.
Podcasting Stories From Around the Web
Beyond "Mail-Kimp": The Future Of Podcast Advertising - Fast Company
Podcasting Is Going to Sound Totally Different in 2016 - International Business Times
Can Podcasts Finally Turn a Profit? - Observer Innovation
The Year We Started Taking Podcasts Seriously - New Republic