“Podcasts”

… say something enough times and it starts to lose its meaning.
But there seems to be a genuine buzz about the state of the medium right now. Reports suggest awareness and download figures are through the roof; brands are starting to invest real money into programmes and podcast advertising; format ideas for television, movies, and books are being bought from some of the world’s most successful podcast series… and visa versa.

But is it that exciting to be involved in podcasting at the moment?

Well, to find out, I reached out to some ‘big hitters’ in the podcast game and asked them a simple question: “what one thing excites you most about the current state of podcasting?”

I’m excited about two things simultaneously: that podcasting is of an age now where we are seeing incredible quality podcasts, produced by some of the biggest names in the world — but podcasting is also able to be done by anyone with just a microphone and a mobile phone. It’s a truly democratic medium.

James Cridland, Podnews

I’m most excited that the future of podcasting is still being invented. There are so many people who have never listened to a podcast. There are so many program formats that have not been created yet. There are so many audience development strategies that have not been tried. The same goes for business models, user experiences, metrics, and more. Podcasting’s best days are still WAY ahead of us and it’s exciting to be working within a rapidly evolving and innovative medium.

Steve Pratt, Pacific Content

I love the experimentation and risk-taking we’re seeing with different formats and styles. Two years ago, I would never have thought we’d see a musical podcast like “36 Questions” or a show like “Ear Hustle” which really does give a voice to people who are so often voiceless. Some of the formats / styles / approaches we’re seeing at the moment would probably have limited opportunity on the radio but with podcasting they really can find their niche. We’re still in the very early days of the current era of podcasting but I love the excitement about the possibilities of where we can take audio — which really is having its moment.

Andrew Davies, Digital and Engagement Editor, ABC Audio Studios

What excites me most about the current state of podcasting is the sheer amount of talent and resources that are being allocated to it in the UK — within broadcasting giants like the BBC, within newspapers and media companies (full disclosure: I’m about to take up a senior podcasting job at the Telegraph myself), and by sundry other companies and organisations who have recently started employing proper producers to make audio for them. People are getting paid, some brilliant, beautifully produced podcasts are coming out of it — and I’m certain this next year will bring even more. In my view, it’s time we started to give our American cousins some more serious competition — and I’m heartened to see that beginning to happen.

Pete Naughton, head of podcasts @ The Telegraph

I am feeling pretty down about the current state of podcasting tbh…

Helen Zaltzman, The Allusionist

[Note: I think Helen is referring about the “walling off” around audio content that seems to be happening at the moment.]

The main streaming of the term Podcast. It is referenced in movies and TV shows — it is a term people now expect others to know what it means.

Rob Walch, Libsyn

The thing that excites me most? Probably how early we are in the growth of podcasting, and what a special time this is. We get to be the people who shape and define what podcasting becomes for years to come. That excited the heck out of me.

Russell Ivanovic, PocketCasts

The thing that excites me most about the current state of podcasting is that we have the shared opportunity to pioneer an entire industry — creating new ways to reach audiences, embracing all kinds of technological innovations, and setting the standard for how podcasts should sound and what listeners can expect. It’s thrilling to be part of the vanguard, inventing best practices as we go.

Frances Harlow, Gimlet Creative

The one thing that excites me the most about the current state of podcasting is all of the new great content that is coming out every day. More and more people are seeing the benefits of podcasting, whether it be marketing, branding, or having a place to voice their opinions. And as more high-quality content becomes available, it attracts more users. This in turns attracts advertisers, who are willing to spend more on ads within podcasts, and this ultimately helps the industry grow even further, resulting in a virtuous cycle for podcasting. Even on Castbox, we are seeing great performance for some of our Castbox Originals, such as Don’t Mess with Christine Sydelko, which shows that there could potentially be a strong business model for podcasts going forward.

Renee Wang, CastBox

Stabl produces and distributes brilliantly original podcasts for brands and broadcasters. If you’re interested in a collaboration or a cup of tea, I’d love to hear from you.