Listen Up: 2019 Podcast Predictions

Content and Marketing Director

The holiday season is the time for podcast fans to binge on the year’s hottest shows and explore new content.

Listeners, publishers, advertisers and investors are keyed into the media of the moment and wading into the podcast pool. So let’s check out what’s in store for the year ahead.

But before we dive into my predictions for 2019, a quick recap on my predictions for 2018:

  • “Expect to see Spotify take a bite out of Apple’s dominance, introducing its dedicated listener base to podcasts.” ✓ The music giant made significant moves into podcasts adding content into directories with investment in original shows.
  • “For Android users, Google will engage to become a true cross-platform destination for podcasts”. ✓¾ Google since launched a native podcast app for Android users aiming to ‘double worldwide podcast audiences’.
  • “Searches that surface not just entire series but individual episodes are within reach.” ✓ Google has flagged that this is on the horizon.
  • “Expect to see more blockbuster franchises diving into the podcast pool with a wave of scripted fiction.” ✓ Podcast adaptations continue to lure Hollywood including Homecoming with Julia Roberts and Dirty John with Eric Bana.

So what’s in store for 2019?

Here’s what’s happening in your neck of the woods

With the dominance of The Daily, from The New York Times, news podcasts will continue to claim our attention. However, news formats will increasingly evolve to integrate dynamic content insertion. With a nod to NBC’s Today Show icon Al Roker, hosts will throw to dynamic bite-sized news breaks, updated across the day and localised by region. Evergreen series will further benefit from dynamic content, inserting current updates that provide a topical twist.

Border Patrol

Blue Apron, and Rocket Mortgage aren’t global brands. No matter how much their product or service appeals to listeners beyond the US, listeners can’t use that tempting offer code. Yet across countless podcasts, those brands continue to pay for global impressions. Audiences and advertisers will become less tolerant, and 2019 will see the end of global campaigns and baked-in advertising. International representation will become the norm, delivering host-read, territory-specific creative.

Companion Content

Gimlet paved the way in 2018 with Chompers. Comprising two-minute tooth-brushing stories, it provides a glimpse of the future possibilities, as companion content becomes part of our lives. With Alexa now in the car (and microwave), creators will produce podcasts of a different kind. From the evolution of the board game to the future of driving tours, audio will find its way into our lives, well beyond your favourite podcast app.

Growing the Podcast Pie

Formats that appeal to wider audiences, such as reality and game shows, will become commonplace. While the power of investigative podcasts like ‘The Teacher’s Pet’ delivers significant headlines and momentum, shows for the masses are fundamental to reaching and recruiting fresh ears.

While podcasts continue to captivate our ears, expect more broadly to see audio capture our imaginations and personalised to our everyday lives in 2019.

Corey Layton is Content & Marketing Director at Whooshkaa, a full service audio on demand company helping creators and brands produce, host, share, track and monetise content. @coreylayton @whooshkaa

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