2023 shook up the podcasting world, leaving us all wondering: what’s the next big anything in podcasting in 2024?
The podcasting landscape is a constantly evolving conversation. It’s about bringing excitement, curiosity, and, of course, a sprinkle of kindness to the table. After all, a win for one is a win for the industry overall, no?
A Recalibration of All Things Podcast Marketing and Audience Growth
In examining the events of 2023 in the social media landscape and considering the introduction of various AI tools and services, I’ve seen a significant shift in podcast marketing and audience growth.
In my experience as an early adopter of social media, Meta and X have undergone more disruptions and changes in this last year than they have in the past decade.
Variations and fluctuations in algorithms have been extraordinarily hard to keep up with.
I’ve found the conventional best practices for each platform are no longer applicable. Strategies that once yielded positive growth results suddenly became ineffective.
Adjusting content aimed at increasing audience or even visibility of a podcast became challenging, as the nature of the platforms, including their leadership, seemed to shift monthly!
The Twitter that many of us loved effectively died this year, and several other platforms emerged poised to surpass and improve upon what Twitter once was.
Out of all the ones that appeared, Threads made a grand entrance, marking one of the most momentous social media launches in recent memory. Truth be told, as of this moment, it’s my favorite.
And TikTok continues to be one of the number one platforms for younger people to connect with a podcast for the very first time, albeit not audio, but video podcasts that they then follow on YouTube and Spotify.
Here are some great tips for promoting your podcast on social media.
Here Are My Top 3 Social Media Podcast Marketing Trends for 2024
- Instagram is poised to become a potent platform for podcast promotion, with reels, feed posts, and stories all playing crucial roles. The seamless integration with Spotify adds significant value to the platform. If Apple can work with Meta for direct integration from the Podcast App to Instagram Stories, that would be a game changer! #JustSayin
- Short-form videos will remain a prominent method for enhancing visibility and awareness of podcasts. Determining whether these videos directly result in increased follows for a podcast will remain uncertain unless producers dedicate time to developing and implementing sophisticated tracking workflows.
- The landscape of social media marketing for podcast growth will remain dynamic, increasingly decentralized, and far from a one-size-fits-all approach. The process will demand ongoing testing, iteration, and adjustments to achieve success. This includes clearly defining what success means to the podcast. Is it podcast follows? Is it selling merch, events, or premium subscription sales?
As the complexities grow, there will be a rising demand for ready-made solutions, as more individuals shy away from exerting unnecessary effort. Whether these emerging businesses prove effective remains to be seen, and 2025 (yes 2025) will be the litmus test for their success.
But it’s not just about me!
I had the opportunity to chat with Libsyn’s CEO John W. Gibbons, Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations and my co-host for The Feed: The Official Libsyn Podcast, and Dave Jackson, Head of Podcaster Education, about their thoughts on 2024 podcasting trends and their own podcasting wishes for the New Year.
John W. Gibbons
Chief Executive Officer, Libsyn
Mergers, Acquisitions, and the Expansion of Programmatic Ads
According to John, the industry isn’t done with mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In fact, get ready for more in 2024! This isn’t a cause for concern but a reason to celebrate. More M&A means a stronger foundation for podcasting products and companies to not just survive, but thrive. The positive ripple effect? A welcoming environment for new podcasters armed with sophisticated, user-friendly tools.
John also predicts that programmatic advertising will increase. He views this as both a prediction and a wish. Why? Well, the financial perks tied to programmatic ads could be a game-changer for all. John’s optimism shines through, emphasizing that programmatic advertising is a lifeline for podcasts — subscriptions alone won’t cut it. So, here’s to the expansion of programmatic advertising, allowing us to sustain and evolve the podcasting landscape.
Read this blog for more information on programmatic ads and other podcast advertising opportunities.
John's Wish for Podcasting in 2024: Simplify the Podcasting Tools
“My main wish is for the podcasting process to become easier for more people. I want barriers to be lowered so folks can easily share their passions and expertise through podcasts. Tools that simplify the recording, editing, and publishing would make podcasting more accessible to most.”
He hopes this will help those with niche interests easily translate their expertise into content and, ultimately, connect with audiences that share those passions.
John emphasizes that even as podcasting becomes more accessible, the end product should maintain a level of professionalism. After all, when a podcast is published, it should shine with a touch of polished, professional magic. It’s an easier podcasting journey without compromising quality i.e. making it easier doesn’t make it any less awesome!
Podcasting Hall Of Famer
Podcasting Trends: Political Podcasts & Local Podcast Dynamics
Rob provided insightful predictions on the growing role of political discussions with a particular focus on local podcasts!
Here are some highlights that delve deeper into his thoughts regarding the power of local, and nuanced political discussions via podcast:
- Local Podcasts — As platforms to discuss issues impacting communities, local podcasts will grow in importance, serving as a venue for local campaigns. Podcasts with large audiences that cover diverse topics may also see candidates eager to get their messages out through interviews.
- Political Podcasts — Rob expects to see more podcasts focused on breaking political news and analysis playing a big role in the 2024 election cycle. Candidates will also increasingly turn to podcasts to campaign directly to voters in a long-form interview format.
Rob's 2024 Podcasting Wish: A Focus on Audio & Content
Rob wants podcasters to prioritize audio quality over pursuing video or other new formats. He would like to see podcasters double down on perfecting their audio craft and the listening experience they provide, rather than getting distracted by video or other emerging media.
Rob also wants podcasters to spend their time and efforts on improving the content of their shows while focusing on the listening experience.
Check out this video that shares some tips for easy audio editing to make your podcast sound its best!
Podcasting Hall Of Famer
Podcasting Trends: Lowering Barriers & Strengthening Bonds
Dave's 2024 Podcasting Wish: A Bigger Focus on "How To Listen To A Podcast" Education
In general, Dave expects podcasting to remain accessible for newcomers, for podcasting communities to strengthen, and for new premium content delivery methods to emerge.
Diversity and creator connections will help expansion in the coming year.
That said, our conversation then turned to more specific insights about community, convenience, and connection:
In-person learning at conferences, meetups, and studio spaces is a podcasting trend that continues to grow. Dave sees new communities forming as diverse creators find each other on and offline.
- Video Podcasting — More podcasters will leverage video through simple setups using phones and lightweight equipment. Instructional content on YouTube will continue to help lower the barrier to entry.
- Newsletters — Newsletters will remain an important tool for podcasters to build their brands and drive people to take desired actions. Creators are increasingly recognizing the newsletter’s marketing power.
Why? Because all of us want a bigger audience! Prompted by Tom Webster’s insight into the prevalence of smartphones among boomers, Dave envisions a simple yet impactful strategy to reach a wide range of demographics.
He’s thinking of crafting a “Podcast Listening Made Easy” presentation condensing essential information into six slides. Then, collaborating with local libraries, bookstores, and others to provide free tutorials on podcast consumption.
Dave’s strategic goal revolves around making podcasting accessible to a wider audience by demystifying the process and reaching out to diverse demographics.
Podcasting Hall Of Famer
Elsie’s 2024 Podcasting Industry Wish: Collaborative Education
First, I wholeheartedly agree with Dave.
Each of us who works in podcasting, from sales to production, to marketing and podcast hosting, we all need to create content that teaches people how to listen to podcasts and why podcast listening is an incredible tool that can help increase quality of life.
That is my wish for podcasting in 2024.
It’s not just about expanding podcast production and cultivating diverse voices; it’s about growing in a way that includes everyone, especially those who don’t know how to access podcasts. We’ve all heard “wherever you get your podcasts,” and taken that call-to-action as something everyone knows how to do.
Focus on those who don’t.
And meet them where they are.
We have the privilege to ask nuanced questions, mold the podcasting experience, and pinpoint areas for improvement. Let’s make the industry irresistible to new brands and advertisers while inspiring and educating about the power of audio.
We’re not just passive participants; we’re the architects of the podcasting industry. 2024 is our time to shine.
Let’s continue to shape an inclusive, vibrant podcasting culture and community. We’ve got the chance to create the industry we want, so here’s to 2024!
Want more thought-provoking wisdom about podcasting trends? Take a look at this exciting video from a handful of podcasting industry experts. I promise you’ll be inspired!