Is it going to be tough year for podcast makers?
It’s not easy to produce a high-quality podcast, especially one that wants to distinguish itself from the huge pool of podcasts. First, 2023 will be a tough year for podcast creators because of the economy, which means less will come in through advertisements.
According to data compiled by Chartr from Listen Notes, fewer podcasts were created in 2022 than in 2020 and 2021. The report mentions the number of new shows created dropped a lot between 2020 and 2022. According to The Verge, a part of the drop can be attributed to the pandemic. During peak pandemic podcast blossomed because people were staying in and our attention was unwavering. But the number of new shows in 2022 was lower than pre-pandemic levels: 337,063 podcasts were launched in 2019, compared to 219,178 in 2022. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that people are going back to the office. But The Verge also notes that new episode creation has done slightly better: Listen Notes logged 26.1 million new episodes published in 2022, up from 18.1 million episodes in 2019.
The discovery algorithm behind podcasts needs to improve because the “system seemingly cannot effectively handle the number of podcasts that already exist”. The New York Times did a better job by launching new shows on old feeds, which already have a built-in audience.
Another development that has taken place is Spotify cutting six per cent of its workforce, though not much of it was on the editorial side. But there has been a high-profile departure (not as part of the job cuts) in the form of chief content and advertising officer Dawn Ostroff, who has deep connections in Hollywood. Taking over from her is subscriptions chief Alex Norstrom.
“We remain committed to building on our success in podcasting, delivering innovative features for creators, and continuing to invest in O&E podcasts,” Spotify spokesperson Rosa Oh has told Hot Pod.