The Simple Truth


The truth is that podcasting hasn’t produced a new hit in years! *(Bloomberg: subscription may be required)

None of the 10 most popular podcasts in the U.S. last year debuted in the last couple years, according to Edison Research. They are an average of more than 7 years old, and three of the top five are more than a decade old. (“The Joe Rogan Experience,” “This American Life” and “Stuff You Should Know.”)”

“Only a few podcasts in the top 50 (“SmartLess,” “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” “Frenemies”) are less than two years old. And none of them are in the top 25.

The truth is that as a business podcasts are a bust! “While the overall audience for podcasting expands, the audience for individual new shows is shrinking across the board.” (Axios)

This trend vexes executives and producers across the podcasting industry, who worry they are wasting a lot of money on new shows. Spotify, Amazon, SiriusXM, iHeartMedia and outside investors have plowed billions of dollars into production companies. Spotify has spent more than anyone, paying about $500 million for three studios.Where is all this money going if these companies aren’t producing new hits?” (Bloomberg)

So even though podcasting presents itself as an alternative to radio — a more modern version of radio — several executives said the industry would need to learn from radio to navigate its new reality.” (Bloomberg)

Why? Because Spotify knows that it has to own proprietary content to be viable moving forward, just as Netflix knows that too. And JRE comes with its already-established and loyal audience. Like Howard Stern.

I couldn’t find statistics on what iHeart has already spent on podcasts but whatever the amount it begs the question: Why not invest this money, or least much of this money, into it’s radio on-air talent? Why not spend it reminding listeners and clients of Radio’s continued strength in attracting mass listening and daily usage.

Traditional Radio isn’t sexy, like podcasting.

All it does is keep making money, year after year after year…