More than half of the U.S. population over age 12 has now listened to a podcast, according to Edison Research. The medium has fundamentally altered the landscape for audio content, liberating and empowering both listeners and creators. And big acquisitions such as Spotify’s purchase of Gimlet Media signal that the business of podcasting is coming of age, too.
But there remains an economic gulf that some entrepreneurs and investors see as an opportunity. Ad spending on podcasting is around $500 million, by some estimates, but that compares to $17 billion or more for radio.
So where is podcasting heading next? How will speech recognition, smart speakers and other innovations change the landscape for podcasts? Should you start your own show? Could you make any money if you did?
On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we’re going meta. It’s a podcast about podcasting: a discussion with podcast producers, media vets and startup entrepreneurs, recorded on stage at the GeekWire Summit this fall.
- Phyllis Fletcher, the senior editor for podcasts at American Public Media, who has worked on shows including APM’s hit business podcast, Spectacular Failures. You may recognize her voice from her previous work as a reporter and editor at KUOW Radio in Seattle. (You can check out all of her tweets from the GeekWire Summit here.)
- Steve Henn, who leads content strategy for audio news at Google. He’s a journalist turned tech entrepreneur who left a career in radio to co-found a digital media startup that was acquired by Google in 2017. You may recognize his voice from his work in public radio as a correspondent on such shows as Marketplace, Planet Money and NPR.
- David Payne, the president of Rainstream Media and the co-creator, author and executive producer of its flagship show, “Somebody Somewhere,” a true crime podcast. A lawyer and former federal prosecutor, his career in media has included roles as Chief Digital Officer for Gannett/USA Today, and senior vice president and GM of CNN Digital.
- Amira Valliani is the CEO and co-founder of Glow, a Seattle startup and Pioneer Square Labs spinout that is building a subscription, monetization and distribution platform for podcasts. She served as a communications adviser in the Obama White House and as a speechwriter for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She got started in podcasting with her own local politics show in Cambridge, Mass.