New podcasts are on the decline, according to numbers published by data provider Chartr.
Analysts of international production figures have revealed that 2022 saw 219,00 podcasts making their debut – a sharp decline on the year before, when 729,000 new titles were released. This was already down on 2020 – peak pandemic lockdown – which saw the launch of 1,109,000 new podcasts.
Kate Taylor, the founder of Feast Collective network supporting freelance podcasters, told the UK’’s Guardian:
“It feels like we’re in that ‘difficult second album’ moment now, and of course there’s a lot to worry about. I would say sponsorship is harder to find now and that getting investors to understand the amount needed to do something properly is also harder.”
To put things in perspective, the Guardian notes that an estimated three million podcasts are currently available across the world, mostly created in America and Brazil.
Established titles are meanwhile continuing to create new content, and the same titles appear in podcast charts such as Apple week after week.
A fortnight ago, a panel of podcast executives told the UK’s Royal Television Society that, while it remains difficult to break into the important top ten on those charts, the flexibility of podcast-making in terms of subject matter and episode length, the relative cheapness of the exercise and the fact that anyone with a microphone can do it still makes it an attractive proposition. The podcast industry in the UK was estimated at £40m ($48.2m) in 2021.
They added that, while there is no real money to be made from podcasts themselves, the IP they generate can also become valuable for adaptation by film and TV makers – eventually.
Darrell Brown, the managing director of What’s the Story podcast production company, told the panel:
“TV doesn’t move as quickly as podcasting. There’s a green light period, an option period, rights will be tied up for a while, that can take a little longer.”