Podcast Discovery Remains Unsolved

🎙️ Podcasts are on a rise, and have been for many years. Latest numbers show tremendous growth and people listen to podcasts more than ever. But one problem remains unsolved: Podcast Discovery

Anyone who’s ever searched through Apple Podcasts or Spotify has seen it: There are many podcasts out there! Overall, more than 1,000,000 podcasts with a total of >30,000,000 episodes published. New ones come in every day.

With numbers like this, it’s quite obvious that niches you are interested in probably have more podcasts than you could ever listen to. So you must find podcasts that you like, and finding those is relatively difficult.

When you ask podcast listeners, about 60% of them respond that they discover new podcasts by either searching for keywords or friends refer them a new podcast show. So there is potential to 1) optimize keywords and 2) emphasize word-of-mouth.

Due to the fact that podcasts are consumed fundamentally different than anything else we know (Watching a video📺, reading an article📝 or the newspaper📰, speaking to someone 1:1🗣️), the Discovery Problem must be tackled fundamentally different than other areas.

🧠 One could assume that technology can solve the Discovery Problem by making suggestions based on interests & user behaviour. Truth is, it does not work for podcasts. Or at least not how we would assume when comparing to other types of media.

📈 The industry is accelerating at a rapid pace. Long-term view, there is going to be an ever-increasing number of really great podcasts on every topic you could think of. But podcasts have many more characteristics than music for example.

Music is pretty easy: Lyrics, Genre, Brand of Artist. Podcasts have many more categories, because touching the listeners on an emotional level is very important to be a good podcast.

Grouping by genre works, but how good a podcast is at touching someone emotionally can a) not be rated my algorithms and b) varies from person to person, and also based on emotional state/time of the day/location/surroundings.

⁉️ So how do we solve Podcast Discovery, if technology can’t solve all of it?

There is no golden rule, but one can work towards getting more discovery on a podcast.

[1] Build a community around a podcast that is truely into the niche/genre/theme of the podcast.

[2] Find existing communities around the topics you touch in the podcast and convert them to podcast listeners.

[3] Re-distribute and re-use content for other social platforms