Podcasting and the creator economy

In an exposé from Bloomberg UK in August, the outlet reported that podcast guests are paying as much as $50,000 to appear on popular shows. As critics call it “payola”, they’re calling for increased transparency as listeners deserve better disclosure of these promotional ties. In the same month, Forbes reported that the creator economy is booming. So, it got us thinking about the current state of play in the podcasting creator economy. 

In this article, we delve into the creator economy’s evolution and how things are looking in podcasting right now. 

How podcasting has evolved

In an article by Jon Radoff on Medium, there is a distinctive pattern in any given creative industry. These are: 

  • Pioneer Era – first-movers create their own technologies eg Pixar. 
  • Engineering Era – bottoms-up tools and middleware emerge to support overwhelmed engineering teams eg Stripe. 
  • Creator Era – top-down tools emerge to support a much larger market of creators and disrupt many of the businesses of the prior eras eg YouTube. 

Since its development in 2004, podcasting has moved through each era and is firmly in its creator era right now, thanks to top-down tools such as Acast, Shopify and Audible. 

As of now, millions of audio creators can create content and experiences for their communities, enjoying low technological barriers. As a result, anyone can build a business and earn a living around an audience minus constraints that would have existed less than a decade ago in the audio space. While it may be in its infancy, podcasting is an exciting industry indeed.

What sets podcasting apart from other content creation mediums

While podcasting growth is slower than social media platforms, it’s getting more popular yearly. In our (slightly biased) opinion, podcasting and audio as a medium offer creators benefits that other platforms can’t contend with. Here are just three of them: 

  • Audiences look to audio for friendly, trustworthy voices for long-form content that feels like a two-way conversation. 
  • Listeners are turning to podcasts for authentic storytelling and escapism, which can feel somewhat of a rarity on social media. 
  • Delivering long-form content allows creators to build lasting, genuine connections with their communities.

What we’re seeing in the podcast creator economy right now

With so much potential, it’s an exciting time to be an audio creator right now. But how are things currently looking?

Earning potential is fragmented 

Generating an income from podcasting is challenging. So, it’s no surprise that some podcasters are keen to make a guaranteed income by charging for guest appearances. For most podcast creators, revenue will come from several direct and indirect sources such as advertising, product placement, subscriptions and selling merch. Because earning income in this way is fragmented and can be inconsistent, charging guests can be a very lucrative earner in comparison. 

Increased advertising regulations may be on the way 

The exposé called for increased transparency in podcast advertising; we could see stricter guidelines come into play in the future. As podcasters have become audio influencers, we may see something similar to the ASA UK Advertising Guidelines for social media influencers. While we’re all for creators getting paid their dues, disclosing all paid partnerships, including guests, will ensure listeners aren’t misled. 

The future is bright 

According to Demand Sage, it’s predicted that there will be around 424 million podcast listeners globally by the end of 2022, increasing to 504.9 million by 2024. At the same time, the industry is currently worth around $2 billion, it’s set to be worth $4 billion in 2024

As big players continue to see potential in podcasting, we’re excited about the future. Take YouTube, for example. In March, Bloomberg reported that YouTube offered grants up to $300,000 to incentivise podcasters to create video content. 

Thanks to engaged listeners, specific niches, and authenticity, we predict that brands will continue to invest in audio creators, offering increased earning potential. As the industry grows, we hope creators get a fair piece of the pie.

If you enjoyed this article and want to read more hot takes and the latest in podcasting, get your fix here. If you’re ready to tap into the podcaster creator economy with Content is Queen by your side, explore our membership options here

Podcasting as a marketing tool

There’s no denying how popular podcasting is. According to Demand Sage, as of June 2022, there were 2.4 million podcasts globally, with 66 million episodes and counting between them. With a prediction of 424 million podcast listeners worldwide by the end of the year, the phenomenon is growing yearly. 

But is podcasting a worthwhile investment when it comes to business? In this article, we’re exploring the effectiveness of podcasting as a marketing channel.

Five benefits of podcasting as a brand

Podcasting allows for community building 

As a medium that fosters long-term connection, audio offers an excellent opportunity to build an engaged community. With the average listener consuming new episodes weekly, good podcasts can quickly become a part of a consumer’s routine. When executed well, taking to the mic allows brands to speak to their audience regularly. Whether educational, entertaining, or emotive, if you can offer value to consumers, they’ll keep coming back. 

From here, you have the potential to turn listeners into loyal customers, word-of-mouth marketers and influential brand ambassadors. 

Podcasting allows brands to become an authoritative voice in their space

While you could opt for a generalist podcast, you’ll likely choose to tap into your business niche. By doing so, you can establish your brand as an authoritative voice within your space, giving you an advantage over competitors. 

Furthermore, you can increase your reach by inviting credible guests from your industry to your show. Not only does this boost the trust of your audience further, you can also leverage their audience to reach more listeners. The result? You get your brand in front of even more people. 

Long-form content offers nuance 

A significant advantage of podcasting is that long-form content allows brands to offer more information and nuance than you would via other mediums, particularly social media. In addition, podcasting will enable you to authentically introduce your brand values, goals and products or services. 

When listeners feel an authentic connection, they’ll be more receptive to subtle sales techniques. Because of the nature of podcasting, you can market to your audience so that it feels like a recommendation from a friend, a two-way conversation or a masterclass. 

It’s a great medium to speak to a more mature audience 

While podcasts may be growing at a slower rate than social media, they unite a different audience. According to Statista, 40% of UK podcast listeners are aged 26-35. For comparison, over ¼ of TikTok users are aged 18-24 in the UK. So, podcasting is an effective tool to tap into a more mature audience with a higher average income.  

It’s a less competitive space than social media 

While there are 2.4 million podcasts globally, compared to 80 million Facebook pages, 1 billion active TikTok and Instagram users and 396 million Twitter profiles, the medium quickly seems less competitive than social media. 

If you can put out high-quality content, podcasting can help you to cut through the noise and speak directly to your target audience. 

To us, podcasting is more than just marketing. Podcasting is storytelling, connection, and authentically engaging with your customers. When approached thoughtfully, with integrity at the forefront, there’s no doubt podcasting can be a powerful marketing tool. 

Key considerations 

If you’ve bought into the power of podcasting for your brand, now is the time to ask yourself some critical questions.

  1. What’s your niche, and how competitive is its podcasting space? 
  2. Can you commit to podcasting long-term? Yes, it’s a time-consuming medium, but you don’t want to launch a podcast only for it to become a stagnant marketing channel in a few months.
  3. How regularly can you commit to publishing new episodes? Listeners value consistency. 
  4. How will you build your audience? Do you have the budget and resources in place? 
  5. Can you access the expertise you’ll need? Such as producers, researchers, and social media managers. 

In a nutshell, podcasting is at its best when it’s done with purpose. So, if you’re ready to find your voice on a new marketing channel with a supportive community in your corner, click here to explore our membership options

Here’s what you missed at the International Women’s Podcast Festival

If you missed our International Women’s Podcast Festival in Partnership with Pinterest in June, fear not. There’s still time to grab a virtual pass and catch up on big conversations, live shows, workshops, and keynotes. It was such a joy to experience an inclusive and intersectional day of content, collaboration, and connection with so many incredible women in the podcast space. Now, we want you to experience it too.

Before you grab your pass, here’s a quickfire recap on everything that went down. 

The Big Conversations 

Pod Save The World: experience a deep dive into climate podcasting and communication and the impact these conversations can have on policy, awareness and behaviour change.

ft. Charlotte Williams, Maryam Pasha, Kelsey Bennett, and Bianca Foley

Women’s Liberation through podcasting: discover how women are using podcasting to challenge society and the status quo and explore how feminism and women’s rights can progress through podcasts. 

ft. Arielle Nissenblatt, Samyuktha Varma, Radhika Viswanathan & Kaz Lucas

Fight the Power – Audio Activism: find out how you can use audio to build a movement, spread the word and make an impact. 

ft. Saadia Khan, Amara Cofer, Maeve Higgins & Thimali Kodikara

Sisters in the City in conversation with Acast: sisters, influencers and co-hosts join Melissa Matanda to share why they chose to take to the mic. 

ft. Anna and Mandi Vakili

Narrative Podcasts: learn how to grip your audience and tell long-form stories in audio. From where to find stories, how to research, ethics and more, get ready to binge on all the secrets of compelling storytelling.

ft. Laura Sheeter, Moya Lothian-McLean, Anishka Sharma, and Cara McGoogan

This Just In: find out how to create a hard-hitting news podcast in today’s fast-paced world, from finding the story, ethical considerations and using sources to production hacks to turn everything into a digestible show. 

ft. Jude Kelly, Nosheen Iqbal, Gemma Ware and Ellie Clifford

Getting Press: secure insider secrets and get tips galore from the journalists themselves on what makes a podcast stand out and can win you media coverage. 

ft. Angelica Malin, Miranda Sawyer, Francesca Turauskis and Clare Lynch.

Building a commercially successful podcast with United Talent Agency: gain insight into what it takes to create a hit show with the power to generate the big bucks and learn what agents are looking for in podcast talent and shows. 

ft. Sharon McMahon, Rebecca Steinberg, and Arielle Nissenblatt 

Beyond Anglophone Podcasts: learn how to approach non-English and multilingual podcasts and discover the innovations and experiences that come from centering other languages in the primally English-speaking podcasting world. 

ft. Josephine Karianjahi, Laura Ubate, Kim Fox, Bella Ibrahim and Rutendo Nyamuda

Creator Burnout & Managing Expectations: discover how to manage the expectations of yourself and others and avoid burnout as a content creator. 

ft. Dr Laurie Santos, Sarah Jane Dias, and Tiffany Han

Behind the Scenes of Dr Who Redacted: get a glimpse of what it takes to commission and produce an audio drama at the BBC from the creator, director and producer and lead actress on the show. 

ft. Ella Watts and Charlie Craggs 

Live Shows

On the day, we had not one but three live and intimate podcasting recordings as some of podcasting’s most influential voices graced the stage. 

Beyond The Self with Africa Brooke; choosing integrity & humility over outrage on demand featuring special guest Blair Imani. 

The Baggage Reclaim Sessions; Natalie Lue brings The Baggage Reclaim to the stage for the first time. 

Masala Podcast; Sangeeta Pillai welcomes special guests Shazia Mirza, Salma El-Wardany and Seema Anand for a candid conversation with laughs plenty. 

Workshops 

If you’re looking for a deep dive into some of the specialist aspects of podcasting, a host of practical learning workshops awaits you. Packed with expert insights and valuable gems, these workshops are curated to help you take your podcast to the next level. 

 

Pinterest 101: for podcasters with Georgia Willows: Pinterest creator manager offers her top tips for audio content creators on how to share stories, create awareness and promote shows on the platform.

Interview Techniques with Jo Youle, Roshan Roberts, Lucia Scazzocchio, and Mai Davies: gain a wealth of insights from traditional broadcasters and those working in new formats on the tried and tested interview techniques that are the key to getting great tape.

Marketing Secrets with Josie Colter: learn how to promote your podcast episode for easy discovery in podcast directories and websites and how you can use social media to grow an audience and more. 

First Drafts with Amazon Music x Wondery with Megan Bradshaw: discover how to create a podcast and develop your first draft with your audience in mind first and foremost.

Is it Legal? with Sandhiya Sophie Argent: hear about the tools and techniques you can use to prevent copyright infringement and protect yourself from liability.

Pod to Book with Alice Lloyd and Rosie Wilby: explore the pod-to-book process and what’s involved if you are considering turning your podcast into a book.

Podcast Deal (or No Deal) with Charlotte Newing: find out how to understand and develop the value of your podcast for acquisitions

Keynotes 

As if all the above wasn’t reason enough to treat yourself to a pass, we also enjoyed passionate and insightful keynotes from incredible women all over the globe as they shared their experiences of podcasting in their region, and how the industry is developing and the opportunities it offers for women.

As well as a very special welcome message from Gammy Norris to open our Global Voices virtual stage, you’ll also get access to the wise words of Leanne Alie, Melissa Mbugua, Mae Thomas, Emily Y. Wu, Odudu Efe, Sabrina Mauas, and Bridgett Todd.

The best bit? You can access this valuable, inspiring, actionable content for just £55. Buy a pass and unlock your podcasting potential. And if all that has made you think that you could use the support of our supportive, inclusive podcasting community, you can also register for a Content is Queen membership here.

Podcaster’s guide to Pinterest for audience growth

For the past decade, Pinterest has allowed users to discover products, ideas, and inspirations but not people. Today, Pinterest is putting inspiring people at the heart of the platform and building for content creators like you. When you ask users of Pinterest where inspiration comes from, they say people. As a result, Pinterest is on a multi-year journey to build the best native publishing experience and a range of products & services to help creators get discovered and build an engaged audience. 

At the International Women’s Podcast Festival, Georgia Willows, Pinterest creator manager, joined us to share her top tips to help audio content creators to share their stories, create awareness and promote their shows. If you’ve been sleeping on the power of Pinterest, you’ll want to read this. So, let’s get into it! 

Why Pinterest?

 With plenty of social media platforms to choose from, you might wonder why Pinterest is worth your time. Well, Pinterest is developing a positive place to create and find your people. Pinterest allows you to return to why you started creating in the first place, love what you do unapologetically, inspire engaged audiences and tap into new ones. 

Users come to Pinterest to pay attention and actively search, rather than passively scrolling as they may on other platforms. They rely on ideas & inspiration from creators just like you.

Every month over 430 million people come to Pinterest. Users actively engage in inspiring content with over 8 billion boards created and 360 billion pins saved. 

So, how can you tap into that audience? We’ve got you! 

Top tips for Podcasters on Pinterest 

Create evergreen content

Pinterest is a visual discovery engine. This means the content is not chronological but surfaces when relevant and based on users’ interests, engagements, and searches. Using sophisticated signals, Pinterest will surface the right content at the right moment. By doing so, Pinterest connects users to the content they’ll love, creating a highly personalised experience for the user and more discoverability for you. 

On Pinterest, great content is a gift that keeps on giving. Your content is evergreen and will continue to perform over time -something you don’t often see on other platforms. So, when creating, opt for a combination of evergreen & timely content to maximise your reach. 

Diversify your content 

Much like other social platforms, you can choose to publish content in multiple formats. Understanding each format and its benefits is key to success.

Idea Pin – multi-page pins featuring video and images 

Idea pins are tailor-made for inspiration and showcase your ideas through creative storytelling. The Idea Pin creation flow offers a dynamic suite of tools you can use to create engaging content within the app easily. The best bit? They don’t disappear after 24 hours. Instead, it remains discoverable in search. 

How you could use Idea Pins: 

  • Sharing inspirational or entertaining soundbites from your podcast
  • Sharing top tips related to your podcast niche 
  • Face-to-camera videos introducing new episodes 

Standard Pin – image-based pins 

Standard Pins can be either created or uploaded onto Pinterest from your camera roll or imported from your website. Standard Pins are great for increasing engagement on Pinterest while driving traffic to your website or podcast. 

How you could use Standard Pins:

  • Sharing key quotes from your podcast as graphics 
  • Creating inspiring pins related to your niche 
  • Sharing episode artwork 

Consider keywords

Keep keywords at the forefront of your strategy when you’re creating on Pinterest. Create a list of keywords related to your podcast and incorporate these into your titles, captions, and hashtags. 

Top tip: you can see how many searches each keyword has and relevant keywords by typing them into the search bar tab on Pinterest 

Invest in great imagery 

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, which applies to Pinterest. Creating visually compelling content should be a priority. For both images and video, the best performing content on Pinterest incorporates the following: 

  • Solid lighting 
  • Great framing
  • High-resolution assets
  • A strong thumbnail for videos 
  • Virtual aspect ratio – don’t be tempted to repurpose those square assets! 

Use call to action to foster engagement 

The more your content is saved, and your account is followed, the more you’ll show up on Pinterest. So, with every pin, use a strong call to action. From encouraging follows and saves to opening the space for comments and conversations, be sure to let users know what you want from them. 

Utilise takes 

Seeing as podcasting is all about conversation, you’ll appreciate Takes. Takes are the newest way to engage your audience on Pinterest. The new feature allows users to respond to an Idea Pin by creating their own. Through takes, you’ll be able to see how your content has inspired and influenced others. Plus, you’ll control the responses, highlighting takes you love and removing any you don’t.

Review analytics 

For business accounts, Pinterest analytics allows you to review your stats in real time within the app. Using measurables including impressions, pin clicks, saves, profile visits and follows. Using analytics, you can gauge which content is driving engagement and adapt your content strategy accordingly. 

Utilise the resources available to you

Pinterest offers plenty of free resources to get the most out of the platform. Here are just three to get you started: 

Creator hub is a one-stop shop for tools, tips, and insights relevant to you. This resource offers everything you need to plan and understand your content, all in one place. 

Pinterest trends is a self-serve tool to build and inform your content strategy. Using this resource, you can explore top trending searching and discover the content people are looking for. 

Pinterest predicts offers an exclusive peek at the future, sharing trends, topics, and categories Pinterest predict will be a big hit for the year ahead.

If you’re ready to take your Pinterest game to the next level with the support of our community, secure your Content is Queen membership here

 Visit Pinterest Business for Creators and Creators Community for more resources.

 

10 female-led podcasts to listen to right now

As you know, we live and breathe podcasting here at Content is Queen. So, we wanted to share ten of our favourite female-led podcasts we think you should listen to – handpicked by our incredible founder, Imriel Morgan. *Disclaimer* We’re immensely proud to say all of the podcasts featured here are either made by, with or supported by Content is Queen. There are SO many incredible indie podcasters killing it right now – we wish we could feature you all, but we’d be here forever. 

*(Relate)able

The list starts strong with the incredible *(Relate)able podcast brought to you by Fiona Compton, Sherween Gonzales and Chantal Miller. Serving as a safe space for raw conversations created with Black people in mind, *(Relate)able explore relationships, friendships, family, and so much more. A stand-out for me this year was the “Yo Mama” episodes.  

Honey and the Hex

If you don’t already know about Honey and the Hex, get to know. This insightful podcast by siblings Tansie and Tatum Swithenbank explores the weird and wonderful origins, traditions, and intersections of folklore. It’s progressive, captivating and genuinely brilliant. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering if Santa is a milk ‘n’ cookie inhaling deity in disguise, this is the episode you should start with. 

The Revolution Begins at Home

While it only started relatively recently The Revolution Begins at Home has stood out to me. This podcast sees host Chantelle Lewis explore activism through the work and experiences of activists and advocates about their work, influences, and roadblocks. For a refreshing look at activism through the lens of changemakers, I’d recommend starting from the very first episode. 

Grazing Hell

Dubbed the ONLY podcast made by a cow, Grazing Hell is as enjoyable as this introduction suggests. Each week, host Tara Mooknee discusses internet culture politics, gender and how weird the world is. Expect spicy takes, honest conversation and a decent dose of humour with every episode. An episode I particularly enjoyed was all about the spooky monsters that are insecure dudes. 

Sustainably Influenced

Sustainability is a popular topic, making it a noisy space in the podcast world. Cutting through the noise are influencers Bianca Foley and Charlotte Williams as they guide listeners through the complexities of sustainability with weekly instalments of Sustainability Influenced. Not sure where to start? I’d recommend Colonialism, climate change & consumerism; listen here.   

Surviving Society

Brought to you by Dr Chantelle Lewis & Tissot Regis, Surviving Society explores race and class’s local and global politics. Offering fresh takes, incredible guests and a whole lot of curiosity, this is a sociology podcast that should be on your radar. One of my favourite episodes to date was with Rima Saini as she returned to the show to discuss her research on South Asian middle classes, politics, and so much more – listen here

The Anthill – Climate Fight Series

As a show made for curious minds, The Anthill explores everything from science, history and psychology to politics and economics. In October 2021 ahead of the COP26 climate summit, The Anthill launched the Climate Fight Series, produced by Tiffany Cassidy and series editor Gemma Ware which explores how we will actually tackle the climate crisis and the young people leading the way – I was hooked! Listen to the five-part series here.  

The WOW Podcast with Jude Kelly

Brought to you by The WOW Foundation, the WOW Podcast with Jude Kelly champions badass women and girls while taking a frank look at the obstacles in their way. If you’re in search of empowerment and inspiration, you’ve found it here. Not sure where to start? I’d recommend Women, Money and Power.  

Seeing Saw: The Official Spiral Podcast

Horror fans, if you’ve not come across Seeing Saw: The Official Spiral Podcast, you’re in for a real treat! Trapping listeners in the world of one of horror’s greatest franchises, film critics and Saw fans Catherine Bray, Anna Bogutskaya and Charlie Shackleton explore the complex film series that changed horrors forever. Trust me; you’ll be hooked after one episode.  

Art Heaux

Last but certainly not least is Art Heaux, brought to you by brilliant hosts Maggie Ibiam and Ola Olayinka. Formerly known as Displaced Ppl, Art Heaux is a podcast dedicated to finding your place in the creative industry and the worlds that surround it. From finding your confidence and achieving your goals to the power of manifestation and collaboration, I truly enjoy the takes fresh from the dynamic duo. 

If you’re looking to join an inclusive and supportive podcasting community, we’re ready to welcome you with open arms. Find out more about our affordable membership here.  

Podcasting with purpose

Because without purpose, what’s the point? While we’re not saying it’s easy to start a podcast, there are a lot of people taking to the mic. As podcasting becomes more and more popular, purpose is what will set you apart from everyone else. In this short and sweet article, we’re sharing five of our top tips for podcasting with purpose. 

Do your research

Before taking on the role of host, you must do your research. From getting your head around technology and nailing your marketing strategy to improving your skills as a host and choosing topics, you need to know your stuff to deliver a quality show. If you’re not willing to put in the hours, you’ll fail at the first hurdle. 

Know your niche 

While you could start a podcast on a whim with no prior planning, we advise against it. Instead, know your niche and determine the theme of your show. Then, choose a topic/set of topics that you’re genuinely passionate about. While some people will tell you to choose something you’re knowledgeable about – we believe you should put passion first. 

Listen to understand 

If you plan to invite guests onto your podcast, you’ll want to brush up on your listening skills. An essential part of being a great host is being a good listener. When you can listen to understand as opposed to responding, the outcome will be so much better. Ask thoughtful questions, dig deeper and don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know the answer – vulnerability will help you connect with your listeners.  

Add value with every episode 

Adding value comes with knowing your niche and, with time, your audience. If you want repeat listeners, you must add value to their lives. When launching a podcast, discovering your “why” is so important—once you know your why putting out content of real value to your audience will soon become second nature. 

Open yourself up to feedback

Putting yourself out there as a podcast host is one thing; opening yourself up to feedback is a whole different kettle of fish. While it can be daunting, it’s also essential. Taking the time to connect with your audience and listen to what they say will take your podcast to the next level. 

As with most things in life, podcasting often comes with a lot of trial and error. You won’t get it perfect from the very first episode, and there are sure to be roadblocks along the way. However, when you’re podcasting with purpose, you’ll have a reason to keep going. Ready to change the world? Join our podcasting community here. We recommend you read five lessons in podcasting from charter topper Steven Bartlett next if you enjoyed this article.