You may have noticed that podcasting is hot. With new metrics in hand, advertisers are now interested in the possibilities of targeting very specific audiences. That includes the music industry. But what took them so long? Forbes takes a look.
The podcast’s blessing may also be its curse: it wasn’t invented to be profitable. A popular early term for podcasting was “audioblogging,” which alludes to its DIY origins. Anyone with a laptop, a microphone and a voice can host their podcasts on iTunes, SoundCloud and numerous other distributors. Not only do many podcasters enter the craft as listeners first, learning production and interview techniques along the way, but audio is also much cheaper to produce than video, which makes it more feasible to distribute podcasts for free.
Yet, if 2017 alone is any indication, the music business is investing heavily in podcasts as an integral part of its future. Within the last two weeks alone, Spotify and Google Play each launched their first original music podcasts, exclusive to their platform (Showstopper and City Soundtracks, respectively). Major labels like Sony Music Entertainment are experimenting with short-form audio podcasts centered around their back catalog. The latest version of social audio startup Anchor, which was released earlier last week, allows its users to incorporate Apple Music and Spotify streams into their broadcasts, enabling everyday podcasters to have a direct impact on streaming numbers. Even Techstars Music is sensing a financial link between music and podcasting, counting dynamic audio advertising startup Pippa in its inaugural class.