Reporting from New York, our correspondent Diletta Cenni brings you all the latest updates on the world of Podcasting.Podcasts have taken the world by storm in the past year and it seems like everyone is talking about them. However, navigating this new and ever-changing industry can be challenging, which is why Formatbiz is here to help. From now on, we'll provide you with the latest news and updates on the podcasting world, both in Italy and abroad.
In case you've missed the latest developments in the podcast industry, here's what you need to know (for now). In 2019, we saw big players make moves in the field of podcasting with big investments and acquisitions. Audacy acquired Cadence 13, Sirius XM bought media company Team Coco, and Vox Media acquired Criminal Productions and Cafe Studios. Spotify made a major splash in the podcasting world by buying Gimlet, Paracast, and the Ringer, while Amazon acquired Wondery. The New York Times bought Serial Productions, the company created by the team the launch the revolutionary podcast Serial, and iHeartMedia bough the publisher HowStuff Works.
Without a doubt, Spotify has been among the biggest investors in podcasting, which is not surprising given its need to diversify its offerings beyond music to continue its growth from the past two years. Spotify has invested heavily by buying production houses and distribution companies, as well as signing exclusive agreements with personalities. In this way, following Netflix’s model, it is trying to strengthen its role as a producer in addition to its role as a distributor. Starting from 2021, in fact, Spotify has launched its original contents in Italy as well, with productions like the Italian adaptation of the podcast Batman. Un’autopsia, produced with DC Comics and launched simultaneously in 8-country; The Biscottis – Storie dall’internet by the comic group The Jackall; and Tutte le volte che, featuring influencers Camihawke and Alice Venturi.
In this scenario, one of the main challenges for the podcasting industry, is finding effective monetization strategies, with branded content and advertising currently being the most profitable. Podcasts, in fact, continue to provide an excellent advertising environment, with the recall of advertisements associated with podcasts remaining stable at high levels (71%). Moreover, the audience for podcasts continues to grow. In Italy, the number of podcast listeners has reached 36% in 2022, with about 11.1 million users aged 16 to 60, which is a staggering 1.8 million more than the previous year.
The podcasting industry is a rapidly changing scenario, but one thing is certain: it's here to stay. To keep up with the latest trends and advancements, we attended the largest podcast conference, ON AIR FEST, in Brooklyn, New York, on February 24th and 25th. Of the many podcasts featured at the event, one clear trend was confirmed: culture and society are taking center stage in the industry. Among the podcast presented at ON AIR FEST, we mention the recently launched seven season of Slow Burn, titles “Row v. Wade” produced by Slate; “Normal Gossip", which announced its acquisition by the independent network Radiotopia; “Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast” from Audible and produced with Higher Ground as a result of their multi-projects deal.