Despite an influx of listeners, advertisers, and investors, the podcast world is still searching for its profitability model, between ads, optional subscriptions or a 100% paid model.
2021 will be the year of a billion. EMarketer expects US podcast advertising revenue to exceed this symbolic threshold this year to $ 1.33 billion.
But if ad revenue grows by more than a third per year, the number of podcasts is increasing at a higher rate and doubling in 11 months, from one million to two million on Apple Podcasts, the historical market leader, according to Podcast Industry Insights’ specialist site.
The New York History Podcast, Boery BoysLaunched in 2007, it is one of those who managed to survive, despite modest possibilities, thanks to early support from Apple.
“I’m really happy we started in 2007, not 2021,” admits Tom Myers, its co-founder. “The possibility of something like this happening today would be very remote.”
Featured podcasts, such as Experience Joe Rogan (He earned $ 30 million in 2019 according to Forbes), a talk show acquired by Spotify or My favorite killer (15 million) they do better than survive.
But for most podcasts, advertising isn’t enough to be profitable. Boery Boys Through optional subscriptions – a form of donation – and the reference site Patreon, through which 1,316 individuals contribute up to $ 6,548 a month.
Podcast Chapo Trapp House, Talk show, directed far left, raises more than $ 170,000 a month, a record for Patreon. In return, shareholders are offered exclusive episodes, such as Boery Boys.
Paid content is Grail, and it’s still rare in a world historically built for free. In February, Spotify, the other big company in the market, announced that it would open its paid podcast platform, which is a small revolution.
Rumor lends Al Suwaidi a project to launch a podcast show through paid subscriptions, separate from his music catalog. And it actually produces many podcasts directly, which can feed into an exclusive catalog.
In January, The Information reported that the same idea was under consideration at Apple.
Tom Myers notes: “Everyone wants to have a Netflix podcast.”
But even if the era of illegal sharing sites has blurred the standards for some time, the habit of paying for music has become entrenched among consumers, says Peter Fall, an analyst at eMarketer, and that’s not the case for podcasts.
Most of the major players in the podcast, Apple, Spotify, but also Amazon Music will “have to convince their users that it is worth paying for both” music and podcasts, as Peter Fall warns, “challenge.”
According to a YouGov poll published at the end of March by Variety, 83% of podcast listeners reject the idea of paying to listen to a program. The paid platform Luminary, which launched with great fanfare in 2019, is struggling to take off.
The radio is suffering
In addition to advertising and sponsorship, many professional podcast programs supplement their income by selling merchandise and books, organizing public events (outside the pandemic), or giving sponsored shows.
Co-founder of Podcorn, an advertiser and podcast creator linking platform that creates personalized ads, Agnes Kozera compares the environment to what YouTube was like in the early 2000s.
At the time, “there weren’t a lot of YouTubers investing their content” on the online video site, she recalls.
For her, advertising remains “by far” the “most important” source of income “for podcast creators, with the potential to attract” many advertisers “more than YouTube,” because not all brands are made. For the video. “
Many now offer premium, auto-entered ads based on each listener’s characteristics.
Breather, it’s likely changing a market where advertising messages were often read during the show, often by the presenter himself, according to Peter Fall.
After worrying, the pandemic will have finally made use of podcasts. The historic downturn in car commuting has overburdened the radio and after years of lack of permeability, there is a “gradual shift” of ad revenue to podcasts, notes Agnes Cosera, although the ratio should remain a to ten in 2021, according to numerous studies.
While he’s nibbling on the radio revenue, should podcasts have to worry about the rise of the podcasts, chat rooms that made popular through the Clubhouse platform? Agnes Kozera does not see any threat, because “With live content, advertisers cannot validate or verify anything. So there is a risk.”