Guest post by Sheila, founding director of the BBE podcast agency
Why it’s important to stay up to date with podcast news updates.
One of the many good things that happened during the COVID lockdown of 2020 was the mainstream growth of podcasting. Apple recently announced that there are now over 2million podcasts on the platform showing that podcasting has allowed even MORE people to use their voices to inspire change, educate and provide entertainment at a time when the future of normality was up in the air.
Over the past year, podcast giants: namely Apple and Spotify have invested heavily into podcasting with the focus on women creators at Spotify, support for new podcasters with Apple’s Spotlight feature and the announcement of paid subscriptions on both platforms which has signified a new change in support of a creator economy within the audio realm. Samsung, Google and Amazon Music have also noticed the boom in social audio by integrating podcasts onto their listening apps with Google announcing live captions for all podcasts submitted to their platform!
Majority of people will start podcasts with the intention to do it as hobby but it’s very important to stay up to date with the latest news in the podcast industry. “But why?” you ask?
Why should I stay up to date with podcast news?
1, These changes affect your podcast
As mentioned above, Apple and Spotify have made major investments to podcasting with the most prominent investment being that podcast creators can now make money from their podcasts via in-app subscriptions: making monetisation much easier than ever before. Previously, Patreon dominated this space and multiple podcasters use Patreon to record additional content which is charged on a monthly basis. However, Apple and Spotify have initiated the change to build a creator economy within their own ecosystem to allow podcast creators to seamlessly make money from their shows. It also means that you’re better streamlining your monetisation process (and creation process) by cutting 3rd party websites.
Apple has also created a listener economy with their Apple Partner Program that allows podcast listeners to make money using affiliate links which means you can prompt your listeners to share your monetised episodes. They get a slice of the pie and so do you. Talk about a win-win situation!
2, Stay ahead of your competition
Staying up to date with podcast news will also help you stay ahead of your competition. For instance, Google announced a ‘For You’ recommendation feature which uses AI tech and an algorithm to suggest podcasts they think you’ll be interested in. Due to the use algorithm, it’s important to ensure that your podcast description AND episode descriptions have keywords that your target audience will search to appear in order for you to appear in their ‘For You’ recommendations.
3, New opportunities for podcast growth and online visibility
Podcast related events or competitions are also a great way to harness new growth opportunities for your show. For instance, creators of everyone’s favourite podcast min RODE announced the RODE cast competition with Anchor for new podcasters to submit their podcasts. The New York Student podcast and British Podcast Awards we also announced this year to attract new podcasters. These competitions offer new or seasoned podcast creators the chance to attract new listeners and gain worldwide recognition. (Not to mention the perks and prizes to be won!)
How can you use podcast news to benefit your podcast?
Apple and Spotify Subscriptions: You can use the new subscription to create bonus episodes which you can monetise. Perhaps if you’re having a guest who can offer a masterclass to your listeners, you can charge that episode because the people tuning in will be receiving valuable and practice advice for as little as $2.99! This is also means that if you’ve been creating additional content on Patreon, you don’t have to use the platform now that Apple and Spotify have streamlined this process.
Anchor: Anchor allows Anchor-hosted podcasts to add full music tracks to their episodes without the added pressure of worrying about the episodes being blocked etc. So with that in mind, you can reach out to independent musicians and charge them a flat fee to feature their full track on your show. Like podcasters, independent musicians suffer with discoverability so this is a great way of helping out one another!
Google: Google’s ‘For You’ recommendation feature is great for discoverability but not if your podcast description and episodes lack key words people search when looking for podcasts. SEO is so important and this has affected podcast discoverability for decades. So to combat this, make sure you add in keywords that you think people will use when searching for shows similar to yours. The AI algorithms will pick up those key words from your podcast and episode description and viola: you’ll show up on someone’s ‘For You’ section/feed.
In conclusion, I don’t think anyone in the podcasting space can afford to ignore podcast news and industry trends. After all, this industry has witnessed massive growth, tremendous investment, it is at the cutting edge of new trends in the audio sphere with new technology being introduced to make editing/growth/monetisation easier for podcast creators. I believe that to successfully grow your business, you have to be aware of current industry trends so the same approach has to be considered by podcasters.
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