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Podcasts and music streaming Mirrored growth

Report by Annie Langston
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20,000 foot view:  The economic recession, and related layoffs at major podcasting divisions, have some questioning the future of the format. However, podcasts are following a similar trajectory as music did in its transition to streaming and have reached critical mass —            consumer penetration — faster than music streaming subscriptions did. In this respect, the podcast market’s journey is only just beginning, and we can predict the phases that the format will go through. The main difference is that, while music streaming developed before today’s hyper-competitive, fragmented entertainment landscape, podcasts are entering their growth phase within it.  

Key insights 

  • Paid music            subscription penetration did not reach            mass            until            2021, reflecting that            format growth takes time
  • Monthly podcast            penetration dipped from            in            2020                       in            2020            but it bounced            to            by            2022
  • Major music            and entertainment platforms have invested            least            billion in the podcast            since 2019, with Spotify alone            nearly half            billion) 
  • The attention            is forcing audiences to consume            simultaneously, pushing music and podcasts            the background
  • As of                       of podcast listeners and            of            streamers listen to their respective            as a background activity
  • The podcasting            landscape has yet to be            but as the format develops            the verdicts from the comedians’            against Pandora are announced, changes            rights could potentially shift the            market
  • Podcasts and            are in direct competition on            platforms, potentially challenging music listenership            contributing to the oversaturation of            audio market 
  • As consumption            to fragment across smaller, niche            this creates more opportunities for            to find new audiences. In            social video platforms, like TikTok            YouTube, can capitalise on the            of podcast videos 
  • Podcasts’ continued            will depend partly on how            the industry can navigate oversaturation            create new business models that            not completely reliant on advertising

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Music, Anchor, Apple, Apple Podcasts, Billboard Hot            Case            Chartable, Clubhouse, DC Comics, Forbidden Fruits with Julia Fox and Niki Takesh, Gangnam Style, Gimlet Media, Grace Keeling, Hasan Minhaj, iHeart, iPod, iTunes, Joe Rogan, Libsyn, LimeWire, Markiplier, Midroll Media, MommyCast, Napster, Pandora, Parcast, Patreon, Podimo, Podsights, Serial, SiriusXM, Spotify, Stitcher, The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark, The Ringer, This American Life, TikTok, Twitter Spaces, Vad? med IJustWantToBeCool, Wondery, YouTube, YouTube Music