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376 The Popularity And Profitability of Podcasting

The Popularity of Profitable Podcasting
It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is promoting how much money there is to be made from podcasting. This is not the first gold rush experience for the podcasting industry.

Back in 2006/2007 there was just as much talk about how folks could start a podcast, and that if they were to stick with it, companies would eventually be breaking down their doors, with piles of cash in their hands, looking for the opportunity to advertise on their podcast. When this didn't end up happening to the degree that they expected, some folks declared that Podcasting was Dead.

Podcasting never went away and, to those who had already discovered podcasting, it remained just as popular to them as it was when they first discovered it.

For the past few years, mainstream media has caught wind of a few highly successful podcasts that were achieving great things and reported that podcasting had been “resurrected.” Each time, I chuckled. You see, I've personally helped thousands of people launch their own podcasts since 2006 and I've never seen anything but amazing growth since the day I've started.

There have been two radical growth curves for podcasting so far and I do predict that we are at the beginning of a third.

In 2005 Podcasting began it's first major growth curve. This growth was made up mostly of those who I would describe as the “Technology Early Adopters.” There were hundreds of thousands of these geeks who simply went head over heels in love with podcasting, even though, at the time, we had to subscribe with software on our computer, download the .mp3 files, hook up a cable and transfer the audio to our portable media devices. It was a pain in the butt, but we loved the content and it was worth it to us.

By 2007, most “early adopters” who were really into technology had already heard of podcasting and made the decision about whether or not they were interested in it. The early adopters would try to share the joy that podcasting brings to their “non techie” friends.

The non-techie community was slow to catch on to the main benefit of podcasting which was its portability. For them, it was simply too difficult to sync the podcast episodes onto a device and take it with them. As a result, the growth of the podcasting audience, as a whole, began to slow greatly.

It is important to know that the number of those who found out about podcasts and became avid podcast fans continued to grow since the inception of podcasting. However, the growth was simply much slower after the podcasting craze had begun to saturate the early adopter community.

It was 2008/2009 when podcasting began a second major growth curve as the result of 3G and 4G mobile data plans, in conjunction with smartphone applications, that made it possible for anyone with one of these mobile devices to subscribe to and listen to podcasts right from the phone that they carried with them.

This second growth curve has been pretty steady as the result of the number of people who continue to upgrade to a smartphone and as mobile data becomes less and less expensive and the coverage continues to expand and become even more reliable.

I do believe that we are, relatively, at the beginning of a third major growth curve in the number of new people who discover podcasts and fall in love with them. There are three catalysts that I believe are the main reasons for this new, third, major growth in the podcasting audience.

1) The Podcasting Patent Lawsuit – I may be the only person who has seen the Personal Audio Podcasting Patent Lawsuits as a major blessing to the overall podcasting community. I predicted, from the beginning, that this patent battle would draw a ton of mainstream media attention and it did. Today, there are millions of people who have heard about podcasting, for the very first time, as the result of some sort of media coverage related to the podcasting patent lawsuit.

2) Apple's latest mobile operating system – Apple's iOS8 was released last month and there are now hundreds of millions of people who have an iPhone or iPad that now has a PODCASTS application on it THAT CAN NOT BE DELETED no matter what. This is HUGE! I'm already hearing tons of reports from podcasters who are hearing from brand new listeners to their podcasts who report that they found out about podcasts as a result of this new app that appeared on their mobile device.

3) Mainstream Media Coverage – There are more and more mainstream media outlets that are picking up on the growing popularity of podcasts. Folks from my community are consistently forwarding me articles from USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, etc. As a result of these stories running on these publications, or in a news story on television, millions of new people are discovering the world of podcasting.

I do have one main concern with all the attention that podcasting is getting. It goes back to how I started this post. It seems like most every story I read about podcasting, these days, has a major focus on how much money there is to be made in podcasting.

In this episode of Podcast Answer Man, I share my thoughts about Fast Company's article titled “The (Surprisingly Profitable) Rise of Podcast Networks” and The Washington Post's article titled “Podcasts are back — and making money.” I agree that there is more opportunity to generate income from your podcasting efforts than there ever has been before. I am certainly not opposed to generating income from your podcasting efforts either. However, I encourage you to listen to this episode as I share why I am so concerned about the media coverage that seems to focus so heavily on the “Profitability of Podcasting.”

Topics Covered In This Episode:
– The Profitability of Podcasting Articles – (00:04:11)
– Adam Carolla Speaks As Gag Order Is Lifted – (00:44:19)
– Check Out The Next Level Workshop at (00:55:14)
WordPress For Podcasters Tutorial Gets Fresh Update. (00:57:16)
– My Update on Spencer Haws – Check his 46th episode (00:58:25)

IMPORTANT NOTE: I want to thank Steve Chipman for providing the following comment on my YouTube video for this episode….

Video Recording of this episode
The following video is an UNEDITED version of the Behind The Scenes Recording of this episode of Podcast Answer Man. Join me for a future live broadcast of Podcast Answer Man. Click here for details.