The Global Podcast Market in 2022

Our Managing Director, Sharon Taylor, and Triton Digital’s team of global market development directors share their thoughts on what 2022 holds for podcasting.

’Tis the season for podcast predictions!

Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash

I’ve shared data and insights on podcast growth and trends gathered from the 48,000+ feeds we host globally before. With the end of the year rapidly approaching (and please let’s cast that sobering realization aside for the moment), I want to use my last blog post of the year as an opportunity to do a bit of future gazing. What might the next 12 months hold in the world of podcasting?

At the end of October, Insider Intelligence released its Global Podcast Listener Forecast 2021–2025, which painted an exciting picture of what the future holds for podcasting.

 
Source: https://content-na1.emarketer.com/global-podcast-listener-forecast-2021-2025

Looking at the percentage of podcast listeners by country in 2021, it’s a solid cast of the usual characters in the top spots.

 
Source: https://forecasts-na1.emarketer.com/615c9440ea9f201758f4c2ab/615c8b27b215ff152405a671

But when you start looking ahead to 2024 and pivot the data by percentage of internet users, it starts becoming a much more level playing field.

 
Source: https://content-na1.emarketer.com/global-podcast-listener-forecast-2021-2025

What does all this data mean for the years ahead in podcasting, as each market develops?

To help answer that, I reached out to Triton Digital’s fleet of market development managers. With clients in over 80 countries, we have boots on the ground in regions around the world to help with publisher operations and monetization. I asked them what 2022 would have in store for podcasting in their key territories, and here is what they had to say.

 

Stephanie Donovan, Head of Global Revenue

Globally, it’s predicted the podcast market revenue will double in 2022 to $2B. With this growth, we’ll see advertisers buying programmatic in order to gain access to more scale and target their buys for better advertiser ROI.

In the US, two thirds of local ad spend will go to digital media in 2022 with Borrell predicting ad spending on digital media will grow 9.1%. With a projected 17.8% increase, streaming audio/podcasting is among the channels poised for the largest growth in 2022

Richard Palmer, APAC

This year has given us a sneak preview into the next 12 to 18 months, especially in key growth countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan.

While it’s an obvious prediction that the podcast networks launched in the past year will continue to snowball, and with radio networks now directing resources into podcasting, the attention will heavily shift to monetizing this content through direct sales of impressions, sponsorships, or programmatic means.

Australia and New Zealand have been at the forefront in the region with the development of new content and revenue opportunities, which they’ve done by investing heavily in digital audio education and value propositions for advertisers. The focus around these pillars will be the driving force for podcasting throughout Asia in 2022, undoubtedly making for an exciting year for the industry.

Simon Lee, APAC Market Operations
 

Podcasting makes up 25% of programmatic revenue in APAC, led by Australia and India. I predict this trend will continue and 2022 will be the year of programmatic for podcasting in APAC as the format grabs more attention from advertisers.

A key market of interest in 2022 is Indonesia — where major brands in Fashion, Insurance, and Finance have already activated audio campaigns on podcasts.

In general, in nascent markets where podcasting is just developing — the reach, portability, long engagement time, and ‘bandwidth-friendly’ appeal of podcasts makes it an ad format to consider for all marketing plans and not just as a complimentary channel

Aditya Summanwar, India & SEA
 

More advertising agencies and brands will begin to dip their toes in the podcasting water, and I think we’ll start to see slightly less branded content in the region, in place of ad-campaigns aimed at building the customers for brands. With this, audience and attribution measurement will be seen as an important step to drive CPM growth. With an increase of 80% in impressions delivered in Q3 vs Q1 of 2021, we are already well on the way!

Networks will play a more prominent role in the content economy and smaller creators will leverage the scale built by networks like Ideabrews, EP-Log, WynStudio and Spooler for revenue.

Let’s not forget existing radio networks. While they may have limited opportunities with live audio streaming, they have an increased focus on creation and distribution of podcasts to tap into digital audio revenues. We’ll see podcasts becoming a more intrinsic part of the mainstream media (ex. TV, new sand print) offering also.

Daniel Karlsson & Zakia Meriouche, Europe & MENA
 

In 2022, I believe we’ll see the lines between podcasting and on-demand audio blurring further in Europe. One example will be non-radio on-demand/in-app/audiobook audio ads to be increasingly sold alongside more premium podcast inventories

Pay-walled podcasts will increase in scale with new platforms emerging to cater for this model. Many will struggle to achieve meaningful subscriptions numbers, thus driving podcast creators back to ad funded business models.

The decoupling of podcast audio ad creatives from Radio 30 sec ad spots will continue and shorter duration formats will prevail in podcast audio advertising.

 

To add onto Daniel’s prediction — I expect to see tremendous growth of Arabic podcasts and North African downloads, so keep your eyes peeled!

Andre Taliercio, France
 

In France, expect to see a lot more activity from both large media companies re-packaging content into podcasts, and independent networks making noise in 2022. Consolidation is going to be the keyword, as funding from VC’s in the region slows and we start to see the effects from the fight to secure exclusive content from the major platforms.

Podcasting looks to remain on a separate audio budget, away from the global strategic plan, for agencies and many medium sized publishers will look to the subscription model to try and drive new monetization streams.

Oscar Sermeno, LATAM
 

I expect to see major growth in podcast listening in Mexico and Brazil, as the trend of podcasts created in other countries in Latin America often having more listeners in Mexico than their actual country of origin continues. Demand is definitely outpacing supply of local content here!

In Brazil, look out for more big radio players to get into original content production. I think the market will finally find the right recipe to allow efficient and effective monetization of the podcast content.

The growth of podcast networks here is certain to continue in some cases with a local reach (specific to one country), or regional one (example is audio.ad podcast network) — would that increase in 2022?

Tanya Iliakis, Canada & NA Market Operations
 

In 2022, podcasting is going to be all about data. Buyers are looking to aggregate podcasts into lineups for easier buying and are seeking a better understanding of the listener demographics — who they are, what they are doing, etc.

A hot topic will be ‘inclusion and diversity’. Brands are eager to discover content line-ups categorized around various cultural types ranging from the host they represent to the podcast topics they release. We’ve seen this trend in the news/media today, and now buyers have budget allotment and are creating divisions to focus solely on this area to ensure everyone has a fair shot at being seen and heard.

Expect podcast buying to start moving beyond titles and talent. Agencies are looking at ways metadata will be useful for brands to identify the topics within the show, as well as the sentiment and commentary. That information will be used to modify creative strategies and place strategic ad buys.

As for me? I’m spending my days pondering three key themes for 2022.

  1. Video — whether that’s vodcasts as a discovery tool or if we see a significant shift towards publishing in general (YouTube getting into the mix is a ‘when’ not an ‘if’, so how they roll out to integrate RSS with their platform will be something to watch).
  2. Text — how can we use transcripts and metadata to better help with publishing workflows, discovery, brand safety and advertising?
  3. Platforms — it’s time we saw another platform get to double digit share of podcast listening. Apple and Spotify are the only two doing it currently. My money is on Facebook as the one to watch here.

That’s a wrap folks. Time to pack away the crystal balls and start decking the halls!

Thank you to all our clients and partners who continue to rely on us as your partner in the audio space — our mission to provide the highest quality of enterprise tools an audio publisher needs to succeed is made enjoyable with you all a part of it.

Here’s to you, and podcasting in 2022!