Streamers Get Serious About Podcasting
It looks like 2019 might be the Year of Podcasting for the streaming side of the audio space. Both Pandora and Spotify have recently ramped up their efforts to grow their spoken word content to match what they’ve been doing on the music side for years. Each is hoping to build a better version of what’s out there today. Let’s take a quick spin around the dial (sorry, old radio term) to see how all the streamers are approaching podcasting.
Right now Apple has the largest podcast platform in streaming with over 600,000 titles. However, it’s sort of a haphazard collection with little in the way of personalized discovery. They do have something called iTunes Charts, which ranks podcasts by popularity across nine different genres. From there you’re kind of on your own to find what you want to listen to. Currently Apple does not monetize its podcast platform.
Spotify and iHeart are taking an original content approach to streaming. Spotify has struck production deals with the likes of Amy Schumer, Joe Budden and Vice to produce podcasts which will air exclusively on their platform. In September iHeart purchased Stuff Media, owners of How Stuff Works, to source its original podcast content. Right now podcasting makes up less than 1% of the either companies’ listening, so lots of runway here of they can get the content part mastered.
Finally, Pandora is starting to beta test its new Podcast Genome Project, which will serve as both a podcast library and a personalized discovery engine. If successful, Pandora will do for podcasting what it did for the music side of streaming in the early 2000s. Expect Pandora to formally launch the PGP sometime in late Q1.
With all these initiatives in play expect 2019 to be a breakout year for streamed podcasting.