future of podcasting

The future of podcasting is filled with so much excitement and innovation, it’s almost hard to keep up with what’s next. Podcasting has grown so much that about 197 million Americans know about them. That’s about 70% of US citizens that are aware of podcasts.

To further understand how much podcasting continues to grow, there are two million podcasts registered on Google. That’s a whole lot of content out there! And the industry is only going up from here.

The proof of this predicted growth in podcasting is apparent in the trends we’ve picked up and listed below. From these trends (and we have no doubt there will be more we haven’t anticipated yet), the future of podcasting is filled with dynamic ideas and innovation. 

Let’s take a look at some of the 2022 trends that are on our radar.

Some of the biggest trends to look out for in podcasting this coming year include:

Improved content quality

Although podcasts have been around for a while, the increase in their popularity, in recent years, means listeners have high expectations. With more podcasts available, if your content isn’t fantastic, listeners will jump ship. 

podcasting trends

On the flip side of this (and this may seem like a paradox), the industry just isn’t that saturated yet. Compared to other forms like YouTubes or blogs, there still aren’t that many podcasts around. So there’s still a lot of pressure for existing shows to pump out top-quality content.

Considerations to make when determining quality include:

  • Audio quality
  • Content or topic choice/relevance 
  • Video quality (if a video podcast)
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Branding

Hosts as influencers

Podcasting and social media work hand-in-hand. Social media is a huge tool for brand-building, helping you attract listeners and promote your show. But it’s not just about the show’s brand. The host’s brand matters too and many podcast hosts are beginning to capitalize on this.

In 2022, we’ll see more podcasters using their influence for marketing and collaborating with brands. This podcast influencer space will grow tremendously, expanding the potential for podcasts to monetize effectively.

podcasting 2022

Podcasts as marketing tools

Yes, hosts can be influencers, but the show itself can be a marketing tool, too. From a CNBC study

  • 78% of listeners said they approve of podcast advertising.
  • 63% of podcast listeners said they bought something after hearing a podcast ad.
  • Around 67% of listeners said they remembered products or brands from a podcast ad.

Ads will continue to be a growing part of podcasting as podcast advertising develops. This is evident as more and more big brands are advertising their products on podcast shows. This includes brands like:

  • IBM
  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • ExpressVPN

Some shows opt to create branded podcasts like Microsoft with .future or TED with Ted Talks Daily.

This increased use of podcasts for advertising will also see businesses increasing their budget for podcast marketing.

Live audio apps/social audio features

Clubhouse made waves in the podcast space in 2020, forging the way for other live audio apps to develop and blossom. Since then, live audio has grown tremendously, attracting the attention of big businesses like Spotify and Facebook.

Spotify established Spotify Greenrooms and Facebook developed Live Audio Rooms. Both have become popular spaces for audio content creators and podcasters in 2021, and we anticipate the growth of this trend this year.

podcasting future

Even social media platforms like Twitter, Discord, and Reddit have introduced voice or audio features like Spaces and voice notes in 2021. Every media giant is trying to get in on audio, and we see great innovation as these brands compete to lead the audio content industry.

Data-driven moves

As in other content-creative forms, data plays a vital role in improving podcast decision-making. Podcast producers and hosts are already using analytics and data to understand the impact of their episodes.

In 2022, this trend will continue as producers use data to further improve the listener experience. To remain competitive, you’re going to have to start making data-driven moves, like making your content reader-friendly, doing keyword research to target popular topics, or putting more marketing effort into amplifying and repurposing your best content.

There will also be great value in developing listener profiles from your marketing or listener data. This will allow you to understand your audience and will help you create targeted content and experiences. Overall, this will increase listener engagement.

Competition between podcast platforms

In the beginning, the more obvious platforms like Spotify and Apple were leading in the podcasting industry. But recently, a range of great platforms for podcasters have emerged.

podcasting in 2022

For one, as we’ve discussed already, live audio apps and innovative new features like dynamic ad insertions have transformed audio sharing and audio content creation. The podcast hosting platforms and apps like Captivate and Anchor have also increased their capabilities to offer new opportunities to share and monetize your audio.

On the other hand, platforms like Youtube have become a popular destination for those finding the complexity of all these feature-loaded platforms a bit much.

With all these actors in the podcast game, competition will certainly be tough. This means each platform (especially the big media giants) will be making bold moves to position themselves as podcast industry leaders. So, the competition in 2022 will likely drive creative developments in the future of podcasting.

Voice search optimization

Consider this. A third of Americans use voice search and 71% of customers use it for queries instead of typing. According to Google, “27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile”.

What does this mean for podcasts? 

In 2019, Google introduced a podcast search feature that enables people to listen to podcasts through the search results. This search feature allows you to search for suitable podcasts based on any keywords in the episode.

Voice search-friendly podcasting will continue as a priority in 2022. This is especially true as more people invest in voice-enabled gadgets like smart speakers. Podcasters will soon have to create SEO-focused content to ensure their show appears through various voice searches. 

2022 podcasting trends

Repurposing and Syndicating Content

Did you know that 48% of monthly podcast downloads come from older episodes? Did you also know that the podcasting industry as a whole has not produced a new hit in years with the average podcast in the top 10 being more than seven years old?

With more content than ever being published and competing for listeners, maximizing the reach and influence of your older content will be more important than ever. Don’t underestimate the value of your older episodes and archives.

Wavve can help you clip and share your most popular show highlights on socials to continue syndicating and repurposing content across more platforms, even newer ones coming out.

With more automation and no-code tools allowing content sharing to reach scale, even for smaller independent podcasters, this means your longevity and trust built over time will work to your advantage. Those who truly create valuable, entertaining podcasts with staying power will rise to the top.

Final Thoughts

As a podcaster, producer, or audio creator, it’s super important to stay on the ball about trends and the future of podcasting. As this industry grows, your listeners will begin to demand a more curated listener experience.

These developments will also present new opportunities for you to improve your podcast and processes. This includes collaborative marketing, building your brand as a host, and creating SEO-friendly content across various platforms.

One thing’s for sure, we’re looking forward to so many great podcasts, clips, and shows in 2022!

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