The podcast Serial had a problem. The release of its second season caused a stampede of fans that crashed its website. A year ago, pundits were saying that podcasting was having a moment. Some suggested a renaissance and renewed growth for the niche media and others claimed it would be fleeting. With Serial at least, it is podcasting déjà vu.
Season two is only in its fourth episode so we won’t know about Serial’s staying power for awhile, but it clearly had season one carryover of audience enthusiasm. However, the biggest challenge for Serial and other podcasters remains the reliance on a download model. The legacy technology is hindering audience growth, listener engagement and monetization opportunities. Thankfully, there is an alternative.
Breaking Down Podcasting’s Present and Future
If anything, the release of the second season of Serial proves this. The simultaneous release of Season 2 on Pandora and iTunes gave consumers a choice between downloading or streaming. This choice has existed on a number of platforms previously, but most podcasters seem to default to iTunes even though its technology constrains long-term success.
Today we published a white paper that explores why the download model that gave podcasts their initial success now hinders their growth. We outline two critical challenges, three opportunities and six recommendations for podcasters, including:
- Lack of measurability hurts podcasters’ bottom line
- Streaming provides real-time audience engagement
- Ad insertion is key to increasing revenue
- Old podcast episodes can drive new revenue for streamers
- Syndication is key to attract brand advertisers
If podcasters can fully embrace streaming, consumers and advertisers are ready to listen. To download the full white paper on the future of podcasting, click here:
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