5 Key Takeaways from This Year’s Podcast Movement Evolutions

Sophie Anderson, Associate Director, Podcast Sales MarketingApr 3, 2024

Last week, the podcast industry gathered at Podcast Movement Evolutions in Los Angeles to talk through everything from advancements in ad tech to shifts in listening behavior, content and creator trends, and more. The resulting conversations not only emphasized the continued progress and expansion of this industry, but also gave some great insight into what topics are top of mind in 2024 and beyond.

Here are our key takeaways, and what they mean for brands.

1. More New Listeners and Counting 

The great news for all industry professionals and podcast advertisers is that the podcast audience continues to grow. According to Edison’s Infinite Dial Report, monthly podcast listening has reached an all-time high, now accounting for 47% of the US population age 12+, or an estimated 135 million Americans. This growth is predominantly driven by the female audience, which increased by 25% in the past two years (compared to just 17% for male listeners). But in his 2024 Podcast Outlook presentation, Daryl Battaglia, SVP of Measurement at Triton Digital, was quick to point out that the industry could see even greater gains by prioritizing listener retention. In other words, putting more of an emphasis on how people discover podcasts, and how they engage with those shows, could curb listener turnover and catapult podcast listening to new heights.

2. Podcasts Are Replacing the Role of TV

During the opening keynote session of the conference, Amy Poehler took the stage to promote a few new titles from her company, Paper Kite Productions, and to talk about what prompted her shift into the audio space. In regards to the latter, the Parks and Rec lead and SNL alumn reflected, “We engage with podcasts now in the way audiences used to engage with TV, inviting them into our homes and hearts.” Amy’s assessment that podcasts are replacing the role of television is spot on, considering podcasts now reach as many 18-34 year olds (48%) as television (50%), per Edison’s 2024 Infinite Dial Report. Young audiences are gravitating to podcasts at the same pace that they are to television, and, if this trend persists, we can expect to see more TV personalities like Poehler flock to the medium.

3. True Crime Content Still Has Room to Grow

Over the years, true crime podcasting has been a hot button topic at these types of industry events. Commentators tend to scoff at the sheer volume of true crime content, which accounts for nearly a quarter of all chart-topping podcasts. However, Triton’s Daryl Battaglia had a different take. In his 2024 outlook, he analyzed the number of new episodes published by genre, highlighting that only 1% of all new episodes published come from true crime shows, yet it's the second most popular genre overall. With that in mind, he argues that one could make the case that there isn’t enough content for this ravenous listener base. Rather, the demand for true crime seems to be out-pacing the current supply. 

4. The Industry Is Doing Better At Monetizing Smaller Shows

In their 2023 retrospective, leaders Cameron Hendrix and John Goforth applauded the podcast industry for the strides it has made in monetizing the larger breadth of podcasts, including shows that fall outside of the top 3,000. In fact, per their report, smaller shows have seen a major jump in ad load over the past year, which is a testament to the improvement in programmatic solutions. In their 2024 U.S. Podcast Report, Triton highlighted that 76% of podcasts bring in less than 50,000 downloads per month, demonstrating just how much listening is happening outside of the top charts. Needless to say, as programmatic tools continue to improve, everyone from brands to independent creators will prosper.

5. The Future Looks Bright for Brand Suitability

Perhaps the most popular topic of the conference was brand suitability in podcasting. As a medium that has become renowned for breeding candid, unfiltered conversations, podcasts can sometimes seem a bit unpredictable for brands in need of tight control over their messaging. However, advertisers will be pleased to know that there are many people working hard to find a solution. Namely, Tamara Zubatiy, CEO and co-founder of Barometer, says she and her team have been focused on building technology that enables humans to make consistent and informed decisions. She specifies that Barometer is “not trying to sensor because this medium was built on the back of comedy.” Rather, “The goal is to help brands better understand their risk tolerance and build a plan that is conducive to their needs.” That’s great news for advertisers who have previously felt hesitant to invest in the space. 

All in all, podcasting continues to offer brands unmatched opportunity to innovate, and the SiriusXM Podcast Network is at the forefront of the industry’s rapid evolution. Want to learn more about our cutting-edge podcast solutions? Get in touch with us today.

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