2020 Podcast Trends: 5 reasons the new decade sounds different

2019 has been a huge year for podcasting...

2020 Podcast Trends: 5 reasons the new decade sounds different

2019 has been a huge year for podcasting; it was the year we launched Connects Cast, our offshoot podcasting agency delivering media that influences, and it was the year that Spotify paid $200M to acquire American podcasting hub, Gimlet. With the release of new subscription platforms like Luminary and Brew, the simple concept of streaming audio broadcasts on demand is finally gaining mass market appeal, more than 10 years after its inception. If you don’t have a podcast yet, chances are – you’ve thought about it and kicked yourself when “the one you were thinking about” launched. The world’s gone podcast mad, but don’t stress, it’s not too late (in fact, we’re approaching the golden window of opportunity).

So, whether you're already a podcaster and are looking for ways to optimise growth, or you’re debating whether or not to start a new podcast, our 2020 trend report is here to help.

1. A podcast a day…

Traditionally, podcasts have been released weekly, fortnightly, or even monthly. Producers have been consciously staggering episode releases, wary not to burn the trend out and exhaust listeners ears. However, throughout 2019, there’s been a steady increase in daily podcasts popping up. These have primarily covered disciplines such as news and sports coverage, to give you real-time updates and relevant content that you may have previously gone to twitter or traditional radio for. Daily podcasting makes news and all other content consumption hands free, so if your brand wants to give your customers something to digest without distracting them from the day-to-day, why not try a podcast?

Image source: nytimes.com

Our recommendation: New York Times’ The Daily (which also happens to be the most listened to podcast of 2019) is beautifully produced and a master of the form. Unmissable, especially if you’re interested in the madness unfolding across the pond…!

2. From your podcast app, to your TV screen

The benefit of a podcast is that it’s a quick and easy way to get a story told – and there’s now over two million podcasts, or stories, to choose from. Not unlike the comic book land grab a few years ago (cough Marvel universe explosion cough), TV producers are keen to get a cut of the pie – with over 15 podcastsoptioned for TV in recent years. 2019 was a big, exciting year for pod adaptions, with HBO adapting the infamous My Dad Wrote a Porno, Amazon adapting Lore, and Sky recently announcing it has piloted The Receipts podcast. All networks are getting involved, and all genres are up for grabs; the rise of TV adaptations is testament to podcasting’s growth and influence. With the recent news that podcast ads are “more effective than TV ads by at least 22%”, brands everywhere are rethinking their media spend for 2020.So, whether you’re a brand, influencer or full-time dreamer looking to take Hollywood by storm, podcasting might just be your ticket to the silver screen.

Image source: Alice Levine

Our recommendation: My Dad Wrote a Porno on HBO is just as funny as the original podcast (a genuine comedic challenge when translating something into the television medium).

3. The YouTube crossover

We’ve noticed a big rise in creators (and brands) filming podcast recordings and uploading them to YouTube. This is mainly done as a way of leveraging YouTube’s search algorithm to meet new audiences, as well as to make more money.

As most of our other 2020 reports have proven, video content is still very much king – but does the medium of podcasting translate visually? Despite being a video platform, people are increasingly flocking to YouTube to look for podcasts.A recent studyfound that 43% people “went to YouTube for podcasts in the past year”. That en masse migration to consume video podcast recordings has put YouTube ahead of Apple Podcasts (34%) and Spotify (23%).

Image source: Joe Rogan

Our recommendation: The Joe Rogan Experience (note that for Rogan’s podcasting empire there’s even a separate channel for his Experience clips. More eyes, more dollar!)

4. Innovative adverts

The ability to monetise podcasts is growing consistently, meaning podcasts adverts are getting smarter and sharper. In fact, by 2020, podcast advertising revenue is predicted to have reached $659 million, growing to $1.6 billion by 2022. Programmatic ad injection from services such as acast means that successful podcasters can be paid for their work, ahead of securing the “podcasting dream” of an exclusive brand to partner with.Podcast listeners tend to be very engaged with the content they’re consuming, with recent studies revealing that astaggering 76% of UK podcast listeners say they have acted on a podcast advertto either purchase or research the goods or services being sold.

Image source: Adam Buxton

Our recommendation: Of course, nothing can beat a bit of creativity when it comes to advertising, and a show that does this brilliantly is The Adam Buxton podcast. Turning his adverts into songs, Adam has listeners on Twitter and Reddit ecstatically claiming,“I’d probably buy the album if he released them in a compilation”. What brand doesn’t want that?!Listen to one here: http://adam-buxton.co.uk/news/adam-buxton-podcast-and-sponsors-vol-2

5. New formats and genres

The most over worked format in podcasting is “the interview”. Every CEO and their dog have interviewed “inspirational individuals” in any given field. Plus, the interview format leaves you competing with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Fearne Cotton, Joe Rogan and James O’Brien. The interview might work for you, but it is old hat, so if you’re going to use it, weave in some extra segments that ensure your podcast is unique and distinguished. To really make your show stand out in 2020, try your hand at these formats instead:

Narrative:story telling at its finest; spoken accounts of remarkable tales.

Listen to: Heavyweight

TV companion podcasts: pretty much does what it says on the tin, an entertaining catch-up of extras or gossip following the latest episode of your favourite TV programme.

Listen to: The Crown: The Official Podcast

Fiction: a more entertaining alternative to the plays on Radio 4!

Listen to: Dear Joan and Jericha

Biopods: a biography you don’t have to read, and a biopic you don’t have to watch – intriguing instalments into the world’s most fascinating humans.

Listen to: Dolly Parton’s America

Image source: Somethin’ Else

If this has whetted your proverbial podcast appetite, and you’re wondering what we can do to help, the options are pretty much endless. We can assist you in sponsoring podcast, like Very.co.uk did with Frankie Bridge, we can produce one like we did with Boohoo, or we can help you strategise your first move into the genre.

Drop us as line at Hello@ConnectsCast.com and we’d be happy to help.