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Audio creators The new creative frontier

Report by Annie Langston
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20,000 foot view:  While exclusive content deals with celebrity names signposted the audio strategy of many of the market’s big players, audience platforms are already recognising the growing importance of independent audio creators as the market develops and expands. However, to capitalise on this crucial growth opportunity, audience platforms must grasp the challenges facing audio creators in this fast-changing market. To help better understand creator needs and aspirations, MIDiA interviewed a diverse mix of independent podcast creators. 

Key insights 

  • Audio creators come from a variety of backgrounds, often with little or no audio experience
  • The proliferation of online resources, including community forums, how-to videos, recording / editing software and hosting platforms, have lowered the barriers to entry to the podcast market
  • Earning an income is often not the main motivation to start a podcast, but rather a creative interest in the format 
  • As creators grow their audiences, and earning revenue becomes more realistic, many podcasters professionalise by turning their podcast into a full-time business
  • Signing to a podcast network is not the goal for all creators, in fact, many creators prefer to work independently to maintain creative control 
  • Discoverability is the core challenge facing audio creators, with the lowered barriers to entry leading to oversupply, and worsened by podcasts often competing with other content formats on the same platforms 
  • Connecting with fans on a variety of platforms and services is a key focus of audio creators so they can understand their listeners and continue to grow their fanbase
  • Success is defined by a combination of measurable growth, such as downloads per episode, and personal fulfilment
  • Podcasts can lead to other opportunities in a creator’s life, such as paid speaking opportunities, and can serve as a means to build a larger brand 

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Anchor, Apple, Alex Cooper, Descript, Earwolf, Emma Chamberlin, GarageBand, iHeart, Instagram, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, Luminary, Moment House, Patreon, Podbean Riverside.Fm, Reddit, She Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TikTok, Tyler Oakley, Twitter Spaces, Wondery, YouTube

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