How Transcription Can Propel The Future of the Podcast Industry
The podcast industry is nearly 20 years old, with a few ebbs and flows along the way. Currently, the industry is in a massive growth stage. With growth comes challenges, and with challenges comes opportunity.
After reading many summary articles from the 2022 Podcast Movement Evolutions, I noticed three critical challenges that will materially impact the future of the podcast industry.
What does transcription have to do with these challenges? Upon reading each challenge below, you’ll learn how transcription can be part of your opportunity to drive the podcast industry forward.
3 Key Challenges and Your Opportunity
1. Accessibility Laws Are Challenging the Podcast Ecosystem
The podcast industry is in the crosshairs of accountability.
Podcasting has grown from simply recording your voice and sharing it with the world to a massive revenue growth opportunity for publishers. Underpinning this challenge is the landmark case NAD v. SiriusXM, which claims SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher do not provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabling hearing loss. Namely, they do not offer transcriptions of podcasts hosted on their networks.
According to Podcastindex.org, only about 1% of podcasts today offer transcripts, which are essential for making audio content accessible for people with hearing loss. Your opportunity is to get ahead of this lawsuit and begin making your podcast accessible. Be part of that 1% and watch it grow.
2. Podcasters Grapple with a Lack of Discoverability
Growing markets always have interested parties collecting as much revenue as possible, even if the practice hurts the industry’s overall health. In the podcast industry, services like Apple, Spotify, and Google own the discovery market for podcasts. As these platforms produce more of their own content, those on the outside looking in might be asking: How do I find my audience?
Your opportunity is to find ways to connect with your audience beyond the walled garden of the key distribution or listening apps. Podcast transcripts are a great way to confront this challenge, as they can help search engines find your content more easily. For example, This American Life saw statistically significant increases in traffic to their website when they introduced transcription across all their recorded content, proving the SEO benefits of transcription.
3. Podcasters Face a Lower CPM in Advertising
Ads are at a premium in the podcast industry due to the nature of their delivery. Since the host commonly reads ads, they live forever as part of the podcast recording. However, advertisers are hungry to buy more ad space, which may require more programmatic advertising. But programmatic advertising isn’t as valuable as ads tend to be less relevant and perform lower.
Your opportunity is to help inform advertisers of the value your audience and content bring to them. While you can simply supply advertisers with audience metrics, ads should be relevant to your content. When ads are relevant, they are more memorable and can ensure brand safety for the advertiser, keeping your CPMs higher.
Ensuring your podcast has transcripts and that your advertising partners can manage that data will make everyone involved happier. Few podcasts currently offer transcripts, so it’s unlikely advertisers are taking full advantage of this potential goldmine of data.
Looking at the parallels between the video and podcast industries, it’s evident that video has made a significant investment in accessibility over the last five years. The benefits of discoverability, audience experience, and ad relevance have been critical to its continued growth. Podcasts are inevitably ripe for this investment. If the podcast industry doesn’t invest in accessibility, we might see another ebb in the future.
This blog post was written by Erik Ducker, Director of Product Marketing at 3Play Media.
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