Welcome to Season 2, Episode 3 of The Jag Show Podcast. Today we’re going to take a quick look at three of the big podcasting stories of this week.
First, the podcast world was all atwitter, pun intended, over Thursday’s New York Times article by Jennifer Miller, entitled “Have We Hit Peak Podcast?” If you wanna read it, you can visit the link below in my show notes. In the article, Miller profiles Morgan Mandriota and her advice podcast she quit after recording 6 episodes in a public library. The Times piece highlights, quite frankly, the bush league side of podcasting. Many podcasters do shows as a vanity project, or a poorly conceived “get rich” scheme. Most of these folks fall victim to podfading, the industry term for flaming out after a few episodes. Either podcasters are surprised that sponsor dollars aren’t falling from the sky, or they discover that producing a show is much harder and more labor intensive than they appreciated.
The reaction in the podcast world to this Times piece was both swift and wicked. Medium writer Air-nandez said, quote, “Those bandwagoner podcasts are just drops in this gigantic ocean of sounds. They’re one offs. You won’t know about that bro’s bro-cast ever again.” Ed Ryan, editor in Chief of Radio Ink Magazine and host of the show “Podcasting for Radio dummies” also had a great analogy. Radio is 100 years old, and podcasting is just hitting puberty.
Here’s my issue with the Times piece. The New York Times is behind one of the most successful podcasts ever – “The Daily,” with, by some estimates, more listeners each weekday morning than the Times ever had paper subscribers. To gloss over the well researched, highly produced successful shows to talk about the people who never made it – it just doesn’t make sense.
As I’ve said before, my two biggest podcast tune-out factors are poor audio and pointless banter. Many podcasters fall victim to this, and according podcast host Blubrry, less than 20% of the 700,000 podcasts out there are still creating new episodes. The moral of the story. If you commit to a show, spend time prepping the audio and the content, and give the show value for a listeners, you’re already light years ahead of the pack.
Next, Bloomberg reported this week that Apple has been reaching out to media companies about creating podcasts that are exclusive to Apple’s platforms. Now, Apple has long been the dominant player in the podcast field, but their market share has dropped from over 70% down to around 60. Spotify has emerged as the clear #2 in the space, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in companies involved in every step of the podcast creation process. They’ve also inked deals with some very big names like Jemele Hill, Amy Schumer, and a little family named the Obamas.
While Spotify, now at 10% market share, has a long way to go, they are making enough noise for Apple to react. Some industry speculation is that Apple is looking to leverage content deals for its new Apple TV plus platform, which you will no longer need a physical Apple TV box to access. But the real question in the emerging field of podcasting remains, can you silo certain shows to only one podcast app? Also, does that lend itself to a subscription model? We all saw the backlash over Luminary’s disastrous rollout. Traditionally, podcasts have been free to consume on multiple applications. And the field is too new to know how Apple’s latest move will play out.
Finally, a shoutout to my adopted home of Detroit. The podcast world came to the Motor City this week for Podfronts, the podcast industry’s version of television upfronts. Representatives from Wondery, Cadence 13, iHeartRadio, NPR, ESPN, Stitcher and more were all here to preview upcoming shows. Why Detroit? Because podcast listening in the car is still huge. And you’d better believe that GM, Ford, and Fiat-Chrysler are paying attention.
Hope you enjoyed this episode of The Jag Show Podcast. If you did, please, share a link with a friend or on social media so we can grow our audience. You can also subscribe to the show in Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, or iHeartRadio. And until next time…lata!