Connor Hayes · Uncategorized

Podcasts Continue Trend of Steady Growth

With popular streaming services such as Spotify and Google Play getting into the podcast business, it appears that the form of audio media is as popular as ever.

While it has not been formally announced, a deleted Bill Simmons tweet indicated that  Google play’s service will soon launch,  carrying his popular “BSPN” podcast. This is exciting news for the podcasting world, because there will finally be a droid equivalent to apple’s podcast service. There will also be a new top podcast chart out there to see how the podcasts hold up on a different platform.

Spotify announced their plans to finally bring podcasts and videos to their service last month. The list of the news outlets that will be a part of it are quite appealing, and they show that Spotify means business. According to Hot Poda newsletter about blogs, people are unsure if it will take a route similar to Apple and Google Play.

‘This leaves open the question of what Spotify’s strategy will adopt to approach the space,” said Nicholas Quah,  author of Hot Pod. “They presumably shouldn’t play in the same lane as the iOS Podcasts app or Google Play Music, but what options are they left with?”

It is also exciting to see that podcasts are starting to do a better job of covering current news stories. One example, NPR’s Hourly News Summary, is so popular that it often reaches the top 200 charts according to Hot Pod. With podcasts covering news as its taking place, its showing that the medium is versatile enough to find its way into yet another niche. Other examples such as daily Serial updates and the Boston Globe’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bomber show that there is room in breaking news for podcasts.

While encouraging, I personally found this news quite surprising to me. With so many different options for taking in breaking news, I had no idea that people would actually wait for a podcast to be released for the coverage of an event. Podcasts are obviously limited by not being as timely, so I am assuming that the reporting must be extremely interesting, well done, or specific enough to draw in listeners.

Numbers from the Pew Report  back up the theory that podcasts are on the rise. Data shows that the number of Americans that have listened to a podcast has more than doubled since 2006, with a steady amount of growth each year.Expect the number to continue to grow, and surpass its current 33 percent of Americans as the Google Play and Spotify likely create more exposure. With 67 percent of Americans unexposed, there must be room to grow.

With new platforms arriving, and breaking news coverage added to the mix, podcasts are evolving to the point where they may start to become a regular household commodity.For now though, they are still working out the kinks. There is a large amount of progress to be made ahead for podcasts to become popular.




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