So this morning I listened to a podcast...

Updated: Aug 19

nothing unusual there. Myself like very nearly 15 million Brits consume a podcast daily. During the lockdowns of 2020 the demand for content grew at one of the quickest levels ever witnessed.

At the very core of podcasting is that the barrier to entry is very low. Get yourself a cheap mic, or even use the built in one on your laptop, an internet connection, hit record and basically, you are off! Find yourself a podcast host such as Podbean and your podcast content can be ready to be consumed by millions worldwide. It is also one of the most democratic media platforms out there too. As yet, there is very little if any censorship to your content unlike, say radio, television or YouTube. Anyone can have their voice heard. And that's the point that strikes in the favour of podcasts. It's your voice that is heard. Listeners like that association as they listen to you in their daily lives, bedrooms & living rooms. Unlike say Twitter or Reddit where opinions are just words on a screen, this is your voice airing your opinion.

Let's talk numbers

This year 16.7 million listeners aged 12+ will consume 38.7 million podcasts.

Estimated number of podcast listeners in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2017 to 2024

Podcasting in its infancy was a very pure platform where creators uploaded for the altruistic love of what they were talking about. That, it would seem, is now on the change as the inevitable cash bandwagon wakes up and takes notice. You may well have heard this with some of your favourite podcasts, in particular celebrity podcasts, that there is a pre or mid roll of adverts. Businesses have been quick to latch on to the growing listenership and realised the potential. For the creator, clearly, the adverts convert to money and getting back to an earlier blog, that has to be a fair and good thing.

Spotify joined the podcast ranks back in 2019 as they felt the competition from other pure music streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Amazon. Spotify’s known investment in acquiring podcasts over the past 18 months comes to around US$696 million and that figure was before they signed Michelle Obama and Kim Kardsahian.

Michelle Obama now available on Spotify

Of course Apple have been at the forefront of podcast hosting virtually since its inception. Over the past few years however they stripped podcasts out of Apple Music (formerly iTunes) opting to give them their own platform - Apple Podcasts.

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels are now available for listeners

Earlier this year, the Cupertino based company announced Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. Apple states in the linked article, that by subscribing," it is a way to support the extraordinary creators who make them possible". Let's not be too altruistic here though, clearly Apple too will be monetising as it is their platform that make it all possible. Fair enough in my eyes.

Whats next?

Well, the growth shows no signs of slowing down and the level of investment that these high profile companies are putting behind their platforms is proof of that. It is forecast that that the amount of podcasts consumed will rise from the 38.7 million of 2021 to possibly as high as 40.2 million by 2024.

It seems safe to say that the podcasts are going to be a part of our daily lives for many, many years to come. With a 'work from home' culture potentially here to stay, it is seen that the solitude of working from our dining tables will replace the daily grind of the commute in our insatiable quest for content. It is the quirky and personal podcasts that often resonate the most. I'd be interested to know, how many podcasts do you listen to daily or weekly and what sort of podcasts are your favourite?

I don't know about you, but I actually wake up to see if my favourite podcasts have been uploaded overnight. I know if it has, that those soothing and familiar voices are going t

o help me through the day ahead....and that morning workout too!

Podcasts......where we would we be without them....?

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