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The podcasting industry faced a challenging year in 2023, with major producers making cuts and a decline in the number of new podcasts. This has resulted in a more sober outlook for the industry, with experts acknowledging that the era of easy money is over. Additionally, a change in the way Apple records podcast downloads could impact audience numbers and potentially lead to funding issues for new series.
"Let's not sugarcoat this," reported Nicholas Quah in Vulture, "2023 has been a bad year for the podcast world."
Despite the challenges, there is still hope for the podcasting industry. The Reuters Institute's survey found that podcast reach remains stable, with a loyal audience. A significant portion of people, particularly young adults, listen to podcasts regularly. Additionally, there is potential for growth in the African podcasting market, as well as opportunities in video-led or hybrid podcasts.
The Reuters Institute's latest survey found that podcast reach remains stable, and with a loyal audience: a third of people, or 34%, listen to podcasts each month "across a basket of 20 countries."
Artificial intelligence (AI) also holds promise for the future of podcasting. Spotify has launched a voice translation pilot that uses AI to translate popular podcasts into different languages, while maintaining the podcaster's own voice. Other networks are also testing AI-powered translation. This development could open up new opportunities for podcasters to reach global audiences and expand their reach.
AI also promises to shake things up. Spotify has launched a voice translation pilot which sees some of its most popular podcasts translated into additional languages. But this isn't any old translation, with AI, they say, this can be done in the podcaster's own voice.