The news: After years of steady, double-digit percentage growth for podcasting, listenership is starting to slow. Listeners in key markets like the US and UK will only increase 5% and 4.7% in 2022, respectively.
Still, that doesn’t mean audio companies or advertisers are willing to give up on podcasts just yet. Podcast advertising is still growing at double-digit rates, and companies like Spotify have called the medium a $20 billion opportunity.
The end of surging growth: A side effect of podcasting’s mainstream appeal is exactly that—it’s become mainstream, and penetration is relatively high as a result.
The challenges: Podcast advertising has struggled to keep up with the format’s mainstream success. While the wide variety of topics in podcasting makes delivering relevant ads easier, uneven ad frequencies and fraud issues leave question marks, as do issues with young listeners.
Our take: Podcasting’s next frontier is beyond North American markets. Platforms will have to work hard to make inroads in countries where there are opportunities for greater growth than at home.