Top Podcast Trends for 2020

As we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020, we’re looking ahead at podcast industry trends in the new year. In this post, we’ll be exploring the top podcast trends we expect to see this year:

January 19, 2020

As we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020, we’re looking ahead at podcast industry trends in the new year. It’s clear that the podcasting industry has continued to show strong signs of growth. According to last year's Canadian Podcast Listener survey, 73% of Canadians say they're familiar with podcasts, and 43% have listened to one. Podcasts have been around for the better part of two decades, but the influence of this medium continues to grow because of its easy to consume content format. As a result, we’re seeing some exciting shifts in advertising and marketing trends surrounding the podcasting industry.

In this post, we’ll be exploring the top podcast trends we expect to see this year:

1. Podcast advertising budgets are on the rise

As a result of podcast audience growth, the medium has become an important opportunity for brands to invest marketing dollars. In fact, audiences are readily accepting advertising messaging through podcast episodes. Since listeners are highly engaged, episodes tend to offer high ROI for advertisers. It is estimated that by 2021, podcast ad revenue will reach 1 billion dollars.Brands can incorporate their ads in the pre-roll (beginning of the podcast),mid-roll (middle of the podcast), or outro (end of the podcast) of the podcast episode. It starts with either approaching podcasters to ask directly for ad space on their show or working with one of the many ad networks like Midroll or Advertisecast. Then you will need to decide on an ROI metric to determine the effectiveness of your campaign. For example, using offer codes in episodes can help track your podcast advertising efforts.

2. Personal podcasting websites are a must

Personal websites for podcast hosts will be key. While your podcast may be distributed on platforms like iTunes, Stitcher etc. it is important for you to have a home base. A podcast website will offer you the opportunity to create other growth engines to help drive traffic to your show and grow your audience. For example, creating blog content and posting on your podcast website can improve SEO rankings, and you can promote the blog content across your social media channels. Your website can also be a place where you build landing pages, so that you can convert your listeners into paying customers. These growth engines will not only give you opportunities to promote your podcast, they will also make it easier to monetize it.  

3. Podcast show quality is king

The podcast space is becoming more popular(read: saturated) with more than 800,000 shows on the market. As a result, producing a high-quality show is now more important than ever in order to stand out from the crowd. This could mean investing in top tier podcasting equipment or even hiring experts to handle podcast audio editing. Audiences don’t want to hear poor audio quality, and the standard for quality is becoming more important. Optics matter! If your podcast has a poorly designed website or doesn’t have professional looking cover art, potential listeners will think that your podcast is amateur. This call for a higher standard of quality is also applicable to the actual podcast content. Spend time planning your episodes and support your topics with research. Your audience will thank you for it.

Ready to get started?

We’ve shared the top podcast trends we expect to see in 2020. As audiences grow, there is a huge opportunity for brands to use podcasts for advertising purposes. For podcasters, having a personal podcast website will take your podcast to the next level, providing opportunities for promotion and monetization. Lastly, podcasters will need to focus on creating high-quality shows in order to stand out in a saturated industry. Keep these trends in mind for the year ahead to achieve podcast success.  

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!