From a billion-dollar valuation for social Internet’s “it” startup, Clubhouse to billionaire Mark Cuban co-founding his own version of a live “fireside chat” app, audio is the new hotness. Amidst all the hubbub, it is easy to think of podcasting as an old fuddy-duddy — which is ironic given that podcasting had its best year ever in 2020.
A full analysis of the year in podcasting is available over on Chartable, the podcasting analytics platform. Jam-packed with facts, figures, and smart analysis, the write-up is well worth reading. Here are some highlights:
- There were 17,000 new podcasts started each week in 2020, totaling roughly 900,000 by the end of the year.
- Half of those new podcasts are in English, but other languages are growing fast — led by Hindi, Chinese, and Portuguese.
- Monthly downloads increased by 180 percent.
- Chartable says it is seeing 1.2 billion downloads per month just for the 13,000 podcasts it monitors. The actual total is much larger.
- Ad revenues are up by 15 percent.
- Each week in 2020, about 160 new advertisers put dollars to work in podcasts.
- Not surprisingly, corporations are starting to take over. The top five in the U.S. are Amazon, Entercom, iHeartMedia, Spotify, and NPR.
Last year, I wrote about the growth of podcasts, pointing out that the situation “reminds me of the blogging boom — in the early days, a few dozen blogs at the top made a lot of money, while the rest of the blogs languished in the long tail.” It won’t be very different with podcasting. The consolidation of the podcasting creators has already started and will only accelerate.