For those that have been living under a rock for the past year, the number of podcasts and podcast listeners has only continued to grow in size, and it looks like it won’t be slowing down any time soon. It is predicted that in 2023, there will be around 464M podcast listeners and the podcasting industry will be worth approximately $4B by the end of 2023.
2023 has begun, and that means that it’s important for brands and creators to understand the trends to look out for, including everything from popular categories to ways to increase listeners' engagement and retention of your ads.
You may think that niching down your content as much as possible will cause you to miss out on potential listeners, but having a specific target audience will actually cause your podcast to have a broader appeal. Becoming an integral part of a specific community will allow you to see more engagement on your podcast, and will increase the conversion rate on any product you may potentially advertise. Additionally, with the overwhelming increase in podcast content, finding a niche that is specific to you will help you stand out in a sea of thousands.
This is also the case for brands. Although they may prefer to sponsor podcasts that cover broader topics, such as sports, news, or lifestyle, they may actually see more success when sponsoring more specific podcasts. Think about it - listeners of the more specific podcasts are obviously very invested in the topic and are therefore more engaged in the content. This increases the chances that listeners will not only be attentive during ad-reads, but will truly understand why the brand at hand is worth a try according to their interests (higher retention!).
All in all, every category is packed with different types of podcasts so, ‘niching down’ can surely help your podcast and brand stand out.
In the past few years, both brands and content creators have understood the success that podcasting advertising has. Podcast advertising revenue is expected to exceed $2 billion in 2023, meaning that we’re definitely going to be seeing an increase in the number of brands investing in podcast advertising, as well as an increase in the number of podcasters that are interested in getting started with podcast advertising.
Additionally, 78% of listeners do not mind ads or sponsorship messages, according to Nielson. In a world where we’re being targeted by advertisements from every corner, brands are going to be very happy to know that podcast listeners don’t feel exasperated by podcast ads (at least not yet).
According to AdWeek, “Podcast ads often feel like nothing more than reliable word-of-mouth recommendations from influential figures they believe in and feel like they know. The authentic, conversational nature of audio makes podcasters a rare type of influencers. Podcasters feel like real people and their content feels human. They’re trusted and credible, and they help listeners wade through infinite amounts of content to find messages and offerings that truly resonate.”
Voice search technology has slowly been growing and improving ever since it was first introduced to the world in 2011. With virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant, people now have the ability to search for pretty much anything, including podcasts, without even touching their devices. bCast.fm predicts that inquiries based on intent will become increasingly common, and businesses will need more long-tail keywords for their branded entity.
Podcast hosting companies have been in a steady, ongoing fight in the last few years. As more and more podcasts are signing deals to make their podcast exclusive to a certain platform, the number of apps needed to listen to our favorite podcasts is growing.
Apple Podcasts and Spotify are the two most popular hosting companies, but there are other companies that are also putting up a fair fight (we see you, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Google Podcasts). There’s no doubt that we will see this competition continue on into 2023, with more and more exclusive podcast hosts, updates that stand out from other companies, and new podcasts from fan-favorite genres.
UX data, known more formally as user experience data, involves using survey data, testing, and analytics from their target audience in order to make sure that your podcast is resonating and making an impact on your target audience. Your listeners are the most important part of your brand, so it makes sense to hear what they have to say and to ensure that your podcast meets their expectations. Do your listeners prefer shorter episodes? Does the quality of the audio make a difference to them? How many episodes would they want to get from you each week? You may not be able to make all their podcast dreams come true, but asking for the listener’s opinion is enough to make them feel like their thoughts are valid, which is already a huge step towards creating a unique connection with your audience.
On any platform, providing live content allows the content creator to create a more authentic connection with their viewers. It gives the viewers a chance to see their favorite creators without any edits or filters and makes them feel like they are taking an active part in the overall filming and recording process. The option to go ‘live’ has already been an option on other social media platforms, like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and, of course, Twitch, and it looks like the podcast world will be embracing the ‘live’ option in 2023.
Live podcasting can come in the form of the podcast hosts hosting a live event where those who want to join have to buy a ticket to the event or using a platform like Podbean, which provides live podcasting as an option for their content creators.
Cross-promotion is when two creators collaborate on a specific episode together, or even a series of a couple of podcast episodes. Cross-promotion is a great way to expose your podcast to a new audience since whoever you collaborate with will most likely share the episode you did together with their own audience. It’s also refreshing to your own audience to be introduced to someone new!
Cross-promotion is pretty much a win-win scenario, as long as you ensure that the creator that you’re collaborating with shares the same values as your audience.
It looks like 2023 will be the year that you will have to start splurging on your podcast equipment. The overall quality of the podcast genre has improved as more and more high-profile brands, with the ability to afford top-of-the-line podcast equipment, have joined the platform. More and more listeners are now expecting that kind of quality from all of their favorite podcasters, so it might be time to upgrade that microphone that you’ve been using for the past few years.
Only time will tell what 2023 has in store for us and for the podcast world. However, I have a good feeling that these 8 trends are exactly the direction that hosts and companies will be going with their podcasts in the new year. If you’re interested in learning more about the world of podcasts, check out our guide for podcast advertising and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us.