Podcasts play a significant role in consumers’ lives – and even more so over the past few years. So it was only fitting we brought your attention to some of the biggest news in the world of audio – Spotify’s recent investment in producer Gimlet Media, and content creation firm Ancor. The streaming service is betting big on podcasts – and 2019 could be the market’s most successful year yet.
Educational and entertaining for on-the-goers, it’s clear to see why podcasts are so popular – and with one of the world’s most powerful platforms showing its support, their popularity is only set to increase. It’s been speculated that Spotify recently paid $230 million for Gimlet – creators of the internet culture show Reply All, serial documentary Crimetown, psychological thriller Homecoming, and Siri drama Sandra. And while that might seem like a staggering figure for a media platform with a low advertising revenue, it’s a smart investment – especially when you look at the stats.
In 2018 alone, 44% of the US population listened to a podcast; and today, 11% of people in Britain tune in every week – that’s a huge increase of over 50% from 2016. But this audio platform giant isn’t planning on slowing down spending any time soon – with Spotify boss Daniel Elk reporting that “over time, more than 20% of Spotify listening will be non-music content”.
This scripts a promising future for the spoken word – and with exciting podcasts coming out every week, we’re about to introduce you to some of the best for you to open your ears to in 2019.
If you’ve always wanted to explore the semantics of songs, now’s your chance. Song Explorer sees artists like Lindsey Buckingham, Arcade Fire, Lorde and Metallica take apart their tracks, and break them down piece by piece to reveal how they were made – a real treat for any aspiring musician. And interestingly, a bonus episode was added last year; showing listeners how The Daily – the New York Times’ news podcast – composed its theme song.
Due to its rapidly growing popularity, this investigatative journalism podcast is back for a third series – and it’s no mystery why. Reinvestigating murders, Serial turns listeners into detectives – immersing you in a number of extraordinary cases. With each episode focusing on the successes and failures of the legal system, it makes for an engaging and eye-opening listen.
For all those inquisitive minds, Stuff You Should Know is the podcast you should be listening to. It delves into an array of historical, cultural and scientific topics – covering everything from Ouija boards and Barbie dolls, to gender reassignment surgery and icebergs. And there’s a total of nearly 700 episodes to date – so grab your earphones, and fuel your brain with weird and wonderful facts.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of podcasts – or as Richard McManus calls it, ‘the Netflix of audio.’ Nielsen has estimated there’s currently over 550,000 active podcasts alone. But what we have done is explore the rising prominence of podcasts, and the unmistakable power of audio storytelling. In today’s increasingly mobile world, podcasts have become the ultimate mobile medium – and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in 2019.