The year was 1980 and a little known band from the big smoke burst onto the scene telling us of how radio was a dying trend, for video had now well and truly taken its place. As we fast-forward to 2019 the audience fight back is finally beginning to sway in the direction of more traditional means. Video production, largely thanks to YouTube and other popular streaming websites, has both dominated and captivated mass audiences for the past decade, creating a horde of global celebrities from the content-creators and vloggers that inhabited it.
Something in the water of 2019 seems to have changed the formula as we previously knew it. Statistics gathered early in the year suggested that the number of people who have listened to at least one podcast grew by 20 million between 2018 and 2019. So the question arises, what has happened in one year that would make such a drastic difference? So, largely, the difference is attributed to what is best described as a ‘tipping point’, so we are hoping you’ve seen the programme of the same name on ITV, after all, Ben Shepard is hugely likeable and watching contestants win money is always fun too! In the show, large coins stack up on the edge of a precipice before falling and becoming your winnings, like the arcade machines but without the 2 pence pieces. Therefore in the market space, there has been a back-up of people who have been aware of podcasts yet haven’t gone tumbling off the edge, 2019 has been the year a few million tumbled, followed by a few million more on the recommendation of the first group.
Is that the only reason for the growth? Well, honestly we were always fairly sceptical in the early years of podcasts, as products of our surroundings, we have become used to easily digestible media and the excitement that video brings. That would lead many to believe that the younger generation, those who have grown to adore the tomfoolery of Youtube, not to be interested in the less stimulating yet more detailed form of media that podcasts fall into. This wouldn’t be totally true, although the majority of the audience on video sharing platforms does seem to be the 12-24 year bracket, that doesn’t mean this sector hasn’t also shown growth in the statistics behind podcast users. Almost 40% of people in the 12-24 years bracket are now listening to one podcast per month which is up over 10% on the previous year.
The excitement behind podcasts has undoubtedly contributed towards the growth in the market, with more diverse forms of storytelling offering the listeners something entirely different from traditional radio media. Channels such as TedTalks that offer motivational speaking and educational thought processes have boomed within the millennial market, and classics like The Archers have become stratospherically more famous due to the podcast boom. Earlier this month the world was greeted with the news that the Obama family would be selling the rights to their exclusive podcast to Spotify, thus enhancing the popularity and demand for the best podcasts and radio shows.
As it is within any marketplace it’s vital to take into account that every dog does have its day, and very much like fashion this peaks and troughs, comes into prominence and then disappears into the shadows. So, why not strike while the iron is hot and build your own podcast today? After all, those who were first onto the Vlogger bandwagon did very well out of it in the long run.
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