The Future of Podcasting

The Future of Podcasting | Listeners to Leads

Where is Podcasting Headed in 2023 and beyond?

The future of podcasting is not going to be about the numbers and the downloads but rather about connecting with your audience and actually creating content they want and enjoy. This week, episode 72 of Listeners to Leads is about the future of podcasting!

There is a lot of time, effort, and money being invested into podcasting and podcast advertising right now. According to the stats supplied by Buzzsprout, 81% of those surveyed say they pay attention to podcast ads more than they do to radio, TV commercials, billboards, and even digital ads on social media. We also know that ad revenue from podcasting is projected to exceed $2 billion by 2023.

Recommended Listening: How Much Money can you Make with your Podcast?

How to Monetize Your Podcast by Selling your Own Services and Products

But what does this mean for those who use their podcast to grow their business? That means that your podcast is still the BEST way to engage, educate, and connect with your ideal customers. Your podcast should be used to direct your listeners toward the products, courses, services, etc., that you have to offer.

More Americans listen to podcasts each week than have Netflix accounts. Worldwide, there are now close to 400 million listeners. The medium is growing! And though it might seem like there are more podcasts now than ever, of the 5.6 million podcasts on Spotify, there are less than 400,000 active podcasts. This means that the podcast industry is not as saturated as you might think. There’s still room to grow your audience with less competition than any other medium.

The Three Reasons People Start Listening to Podcasts

To learn something new.

This is important because it means that you, as a business owner, can use your podcast to educate your audience. That’s what the majority of them are there to do anyway.

Recommended Listening: The Power in Doing Solo Podcast Episodes

To feel connected to a community.

With this, niching down is important. If you’re trying to use your podcast to appeal to a broader audience, they aren’t going to feel that sense of community.

To spark creativity.

How can you help give actionable steps to your audience to further spark their creativity? Or how can you highlight guests who are doing incredible things that will inspire your listeners to take action?

The Three Reasons People Stop Listening to Podcasts

Not delivering on the podcast promise.

Podcast descriptions and episode titles are important for this. Your description tells the audience what they can expect from your show. If you aren’t delivering on that, then you leave them feeling disjointed and no longer listening.

Content is too long, the host or guest is boring, irrelevant side conversations, or referring to a live viewing audience in the audio.

Though this might feel like a general idea, we can narrow this down to one thing–your content should be relevant to the podcast listener and should only be as long as needed to get the point across. This doesn’t mean that you can’t share relevant information or stories that are applicable, but if there are side tangents, we’ll want to limit those. 

Content release time is inconsistent.

If you say (and have shown) that you show up consistently for your podcast, then you’re going to want to do that. Pre-scheduled breaks, seasons, or limited series are great as long as those have been defined and your audience is aware. Even with that, we’ve seen a dip in downloads when clients take seasonal or scheduled breaks. Just know that you should anticipate your numbers to be lower than normal when you come back, and you’ll need to build back up from there.

Where do people find new podcasts to listen to?

Searching the internet.

With Google indexing podcast episodes, we’ve seen how important it is for clients to have episode titles that are SEO friendly and accurate to what the episode is about. 

Friend and family recommendations.

Telling your podcast listeners to share with a friend can help you grow! When was the last time you encouraged your audience to share? 

Bonus Script: “Hey friend, if you like this episode, I want you to share it with one person who you know would benefit from listening to it. I appreciate you sharing it!” 

Recommended from a podcast they already listen to.

This could mean that listeners are finding you through other shows you’ve guested on. We’ve seen clients do this with incredible results! One client saw a 102% increase in monthly downloads from one guest interview and then another 117% increase from another one just a few months later. Another client saw a 397% (yes, that’s right!) over a three-month period because of a combined effort of having an aligned guest on her show who brought in a ton of traffic and guesting on a show that had her ideal listener.

Recommended Listening: Finding Quality Guests for your Podcast

Being a guest on other podcasts is the 1% way to grow your show. Unfortunately, we don’t currently provide guest pitching services, but we have a guest pitching research package available only for clients to help you get started with pitching to be on other shows.

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The five things I’m seeing as the future of podcasting.

In this episode of Listeners to Leads, I’m sharing my predictions on what we can expect for the future of podcasting in 2023, specifically for business owners, and how you can use these trends to continue generating leads, growing your business, and establishing authority in your industry.

SEO will be more important than ever.

Since Google indexes podcasts for search, it’s important that your episode title, description, and metadata clearly indicate what the episode is about. It’s also important that when Google “listens” to the audio (because they do) that it’s evident in the first few minutes what the episode will be about.

Recommended Listening: SEO for Podcasts

Video will NOT be the future of podcasting for business owners who don’t already have a video presence.

Even with TikTok and YouTube investing in video-style podcasts, I don’t see that being the direction the future of podcasting for business is going unless you already have a strong video presence. We saw one of the reasons why some podcasters stop listening is because the podcaster references a live audience. The same goes for if you reference something the video viewer can see that the audio listener cannot. With 49% of podcast listening happening in the home (mostly while doing other things around the house) and 28% of U.S. adults listening while driving, this doesn’t equate to video podcast streaming ranking high for those who currently enjoy the medium. 

Recommended Listening: Putting your Podcast on YouTube

Content standards are going to be set high! 

Your podcast audio, topic, and branding will need to be high quality. So if you are worried about a guest’s audio, take a moment to ask them to grab headphones to minimize echo or let them know that you need them to repeat something if their audio cuts out. We’re here to support you with all those things, so don’t be afraid to keep your audio quality at the forefront while you are recording. It’s more important than ever. 

Recommended Listening: Creating a Quality Podcast

Going Deep (Instead of Wide) with your Podcast Content

The importance of following the data.

If you’re someone who struggles with trying to figure out how long your podcast should be, first look at the data. Where are you seeing that most of your audience is falling off? This is a great place for you to start seeing how you can improve your show to match what your audience is actually looking for.

Recommended Listening: Using Podcast Statistics to Make Better Decisions

Podcast Stats: What They Mean and How to Measure Success 

Listeners (people) over downloads (numbers).

I know it’s easy to look at the download numbers and get discouraged, but let’s take a moment to realize that there are people behind those downloads. So 100 downloads on an episode are 100 individuals who are listening to what you have to say, which is incredible! Going back to the podcast stats, you’ll be able to see how many people follow you on the different podcast listening apps. That can tell you how many people have signed up to be notified that you have a new episode being released. I like to imagine that number shows the people who sign up for your talk at a conference. So 100 followers equal 100 people in a room waiting to hear you speak. How does that make you want to show up?

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