Accessibility and inclusivity in podcasting

Last month, we shared our top picks for disability and accessibility-focused podcasts you should add to your library. Now, we’re back for another segment. This time, we’re exploring how podcasting can become more accessible and inclusive. 

So, we called on our community for some actionable advice to share with you. We spoke to Maya Chupkov, creator, host & producer of Proud Stutter, Natasha Lipman, the brains behind The Rest Room and Emma Vogelmann, creator of the Wheelchair Activist

Acast Disability History Month

In November, Acast celebrated Disability History Month, intending to make podcasting even more accessible. The celebration aligned with UK Disability History Month, calling on creators such as Katherine Ryan from Telling Everybody Everything and Pete Donaldson from Football Ramble. As part of the campaign, Acast had the creators insert dynamic audio clips across all their episodes with a visual description of themselves in the hope it would act as a launchpad to inspire more creators to follow suit. 

Emma told us: “I’m pleased to see Acast raising the profile of disability history month. I think they could have gone further to promote some of the amazing podcasts by disabled people, though. They mention the good practice of accessibility being done by podcasts that aren’t about or made by disabled people. What about directing people to content that will expand people’s understanding of disabled people? I happen to know the perfect podcast to get you started!” 

Maya echoed Emma’s point, sharing: “It is great to see Acast taking steps to improve accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision. As a stuttering advocate, my mission is to create a world where people who stutter feel comfortable being who they are.” 

 While Acast is off to a good start, there’s still lots of work to be done. That starts with amplifying the voices of creators like Emma and Maya.

Improving accessibility for creators

While podcasting is primarily an audio format, the medium is evolving. Two significant components of the evolution are social media and streaming platforms. So, we wanted to understand what the community would like to see from both to improve accessibility. 

Maya believes it starts within these companies and their hiring processes: “There are a ton of things big streaming and social media platforms can take to improve accessibility. For example, one simple step can be to improve its hiring processes by giving people with speech impediments, like a stutter, more time in an interview. The second thing would be to ask every applicant if they have any access needs and list a few examples like stuttering, so applicants feel more empowered to share that part of themselves.” 

 In terms of the usability of said platforms, Emma told us, “I would love to see major streaming and social platforms encourage creators to create accessible content. Don’t hide accessibility features in ‘advanced settings’ so no one knows about them. Twitter – albeit briefly – reminded users to add alt-text to images. Once you know how to make content accessible, you realise it’s not that hard. And it makes disabled people feel included in your conversation. 

Platforms should be investing in accessibility; it’s a win-win situation. More people who can use the platform benefits the platform, creators, and users.” 

Natasha echoed Emma’s point as she explained: “I’d really love if quality accessibility tools, like transcriptions and captioning, were more integrated into podcasting platforms, both in terms of making quality transcription services accessible to people, but also physically hosting the transcript on the websites (or even in the apps) with the podcast itself to create a more integrated experience. 

Additionally, many streaming services, like Apple, don’t have a dedicated category for disability. Often it’s a variation of “health and wellness”, which is stuffed to the brim with fitness and wellness content. This makes it very hard to find disability or chronic illness focussed podcasts. So it would be lovely to have a category or sub-category to easily find these podcasts.”

Creating an accessible and inclusive podcast

Social and streaming platforms have a big part to play in making podcasting more accessible. But of course, there’s plenty that creators can do, too. 

 Emma told us: “There are so many things podcasters can do to be more accessible that I do with my podcast, The Wheelchair Activist. My key advice is to have a transcript or a captioned version of each episode. Not only is it inclusive, but it’s also helpful for SEO. I’ve reached so many more people by having a captioned video on YouTube and a downloadable transcript on my website. You’ll find more people benefit from it than you think.”

Natasha further explained the benefits of transcripts and captioning as she said: “Freely available transcripts are a really important starting point when thinking about podcast accessibility. This is something that so many of my listeners use, including non-disabled listeners.” 

She added: “If you use audiograms in your marketing or release video podcasts (which can be another great way of making your podcast accessible to a different audience), accurate captions are also important. 

When we record, we also consider things like the audio quality, making sure that music isn’t loudly overlapping any speaking, and trying to be mindful of how we use music and pauses to make the audio experience as clear as possible.” 

Maya explained adopting an inclusive approach to guests can help: “My advice for making their show more accessible and enjoyable for listeners is to have people with disabilities on your show. For example, one of the few times I’ve heard people with speech differences was on a major network show NPR’s LifeKit. Hearing people with verbal diversities made me feel seen and inspired me to do my show.” 

If you’d like to improve the accessibility of your show, here are some tips:

  • Add transcripts to your shows
  • Ensure your website is accessible
  • Convert your shows to an MP4 and upload them to YouTube with closed captioning enabled
  • Use alt-text on social posts

If you’re keen to add some disability and accessibility-focused podcasts to your library, check out our top picks here

Content is Queen is committed to driving inclusivity and accessibility in podcasting, and we’d love you to do the same. If this is a tribe you want to be a part of, you can explore our affordable memberships here.

Is the podcast boom over?

As you know, we live and breathe podcasting at Content is Queen. We like to keep a keen eye on the latest news, insights, and trends. So, it’s impossible to ignore the gloomy headlines we’ve seen this month around the podcasting industry. 

With outlets reporting that Spotify shares have plummeted and predicting the industry could be in for a rocky 2023, we can see why alarm bells might be ringing. So, we’ve spent lots of time weighing up reports so we can offer further insight into the podcasting market right now. 

What’s happening with podcasting right now?

In October last year, we wrote an article on podcasting and the creator economy, sharing statistics on the industry. Here’s what we wrote: 

Demand Sage 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 approximately $2 billion, and it’s set to be worth $4 billion in 2024

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that with hiring freezes, smaller upfront payments and fewer acquisitions, the podcast boom feels like a thing of the past. But what does that mean? 

We believe that while growth may slow, there is still plenty of opportunity in 2023. With talks of a global recession, podcasting isn’t the only industry forecasted to feel the pinch. Many businesses will approach spending cautiously, so there’s bound to be a trickle-down effect. However, that doesn’t mean podcasting and the opportunities to earn money from it will suddenly cease to exist. Instead, opportunities such as funding and sponsorship will become harder to secure but not impossible. 

In a nutshell, as global markets are facing uncertainty, the same goes for podcasting despite the mammoth growth in recent years. 

Is the market oversaturated?

One take we’ve seen cropping up is that the podcasting market is oversaturated. Yes, there are a lot of podcasters, but there are also a lot of listeners. In the UK alone, 10.5 million Brits are listening to podcasts for 69m hours every week! 

To put podcasting numbers into perspective, there are 2.4 million podcasts globally, versus 80 million Facebook pages, 1 billion active TikTok and Instagram users and 396 million Twitter profiles. The medium quickly seems less competitive and saturated than social media. 

There’s plenty of opportunity to carve out a niche on social media to reach the masses; the same goes for podcasting. 

Embracing an optimistic mindset

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. This week, Digiday reported that podcast teams are still growing as they hedge their bets on the medium in 2023. According to the report, companies including The New York Times, WSJ and iHeartMedia are expanding their podcast teams, and they’re confident the medium can grow, even during the economic uncertainty. 

Furthermore, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism surveyed over 300 media leaders, asking where they’ll be investing more resources in 2023. You’ll be glad to know 72% plan to focus on podcasts and digital audio more than any other category. 

As we researched the topic, we quickly found that for every gloomy headline, there’s an optimistic one, too. 

Our predictions for podcasting in 2023

While we wish we could tell you we’ve looked into our crystal ball and seen the future, no one can truly predict how things will play out this year. What we can say is indie podcasters who continue to show up despite hard times will reap the benefits in the long run. 

With that said, if we had to hedge our bets, here’s what we expect to see: 

  • Funding and commercial opportunities will be harder to come by, but not impossible 
  • Consumers will continue to listen to podcasts as much as they did in 2022 
  • There will be less hiring within the industry, and we’ll see layoffs
  • Bold marketers will continue to invest in audio, particularly those targeting Gen Z  
  • Podcast episodes may get shorter as budgets decrease 

In November, we shared the latest podcast statistics and what they mean for creators; if you haven’t already read it, you should do. 

If you’d appreciate the support of our inclusive community right now, you can explore our affordable membership options here. We’d love to have you!

7 sustainability podcasts to add to your library right now

As we’re coming to the end of 2022, we’ve been thinking about how we can consume ethically this Christmas and beyond. During a time when we’re encouraged to overconsume and overspend, tuning into podcasts is an excellent way to switch your focus. So, we’re rounding up some of our favourite sustainable living and climate podcasts to tune into right now.

Sustainable(ish)

Bought to you by Jen Gale, the sustainable(ish) podcast drops a weekly episode on sustainable living minus austerity, deprivation, or the need to live off the grid in a yurt. Instead, you can expect engaging conversations, accessible and actionable tips and knowledgeable guests. Sustainable(ish) is the pod for you if you’re ready to make small tweaks to do your part. Not sure where to start? We’d recommend episode 163 – the Carbon Footprint of Christmas and what’s in your control.

Mothers of Invention

Feminism and sustainability? Yes, please! Mothers of Invention is a podcast sharing feminist solutions to the man-made climate change problem. Brought to you by Mary Robison, Maeve Higgins, and Thimali Kodikara, Mothers Of Invention, shifts the focus to the stories of black, brown and indigenous women innovating from the front lines. Packed full of love, laughter, and exceptional storytelling, this is the podcast to turn to for inspiration to live more sustainably.

Sustainababble

Fancy a good laugh and learn? Then, Sustainababble is the pod for you. Self-dubbed ‘a funny podcast about the environment, sustainability and all the guff people talk in the name of saving the planet’, the weekly episodes by Ol and Dave are as entertaining as they are educational. With 272 episodes and counting, you’ll be spoilt for choice on topics, but we’d recommend kicking off with episode 255 on Green Capitalism.

Drilled

What do you get when you pair climate change with true crime? Drilled. Reported and hosted by award-winning journalist Amy Westervelt, Drilled has been delving into the crimes against the climate since 2017. From fossil fuels and tar sands to greenwashing and accountability, Drilled is entertaining, informative and, at times, shocking. The best kind of podcast, right? To get a feel for the podcast, we’d recommend tuning into Introducing: Who Killed Daphne, which is just 6 minutes long.

The YIKES podcast

Mikaela Loach and Jo Becker are a dynamic duo leaning into the yikes of the world without overwhelming themselves or their listeners. From the climate crisis to activism and racism, the pair offer nuanced and accessible takes on everything that’s going on around us. In a recent instalment, Mikaela has returned from COP27 in Egypt and Jo’s returned from university occupations with the End Fossil Occupy movement, and it’s a must-listen! Listen to YIKES here

Outrage and Optimism

Outrage and Optimism focuses on solving the climate crisis and remaking the world. Hosts Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson get together weekly to delve into the issues at the forefront of the climate crisis and educate listeners on their power to help solve it. With special guests including David Attenborough, Lily Cole, and Vanessa Nakate, you’ll hear from experts and the activists on the frontline. In short, Outrage and Optimism is our go-to for a global perspective on climate change!

Sustainably Influenced

A permanent fixture in our podcast library is Sustainably Influenced. Hosts Bianca Foley & Charlotte Williams are on a mission to guide their listeners through the minefield of sustainability. From ethical and sustainable jewellery to eating meat, the duo chat with sustainability and ethical living experts to delve into various sustainable living practices. With 83 episodes to get through, we suspect Sustainably Influenced will become a firm favourite for you too!

To keep up with our top picks, the latest in podcasting and all things Content is Queen, connect with us on Instagram and Twitter

TikTok for podcasters

If you’ve ever lost hours scrolling through TikTok, chances are you’ve seen snippets from podcasts on your feed. Plus, with the news that TikTok is preparing to launch a podcast app, you may wonder if you should use the platform to promote your pod. With over 1 billion monthly users, TikTok offers plenty of opportunities. So, we’re on hand to explore TikTok for podcasters and how you can use the ever-growing app to build your audience. 

TikTok audience

TikTok allows creators to reach a demographic that is traditionally harder to reach. TikTok data has shown that 80% of users are 16 – 34, with the majority under 25. Do you know who else falls into that demographic? Over half of podcast listeners. So, there’s plenty of overlap between TikTok users and podcast fans. 

A world of opportunities

There’s already a strong podcasting community on TikTok, and it’s growing as video podcasting becomes more popular. Here are three reasons why you should consider jumping on TikTok:

  • There’s an opportunity for tremendous organic growth even with a limited budget
  • If you get started now, you’ll still be a relatively early adopter, putting you ahead of the game 
  • Gen Z are tastemakers, and TikTok offers a prime opportunity to reach them 

How to promote your podcast on TikTok

If you’re ready to try your hand at TikTok, here are some tips to get you off to a strong start. 

Nail your branding

When you set up your TikTok account, ensure that your brand identity remains at the core. Opt for a bold profile picture, a relevant username and a punchy bio – you only get 80 characters.

Use teasers

While you can post videos up to 10 minutes long on TikTok now, that doesn’t mean you should. Using short-form video content to appeal to short attention spans is the way to go. Remember, if someone’s never heard of your podcast, you have seconds to pique their interest. So, opt for ‘best bit’ snippets that showcase your podcast well. 

Teasers can establish your voice within the niche, challenge perceptions, spark interest, highlight special guests, and SO much more. If you’re sharing a longer clip, start with a short, snappy introduction, so viewers know what the video is about; this is a great example. 

Create BTS content

As with podcasting, authenticity always goes down well on TikTok. Using BTS (behind-the-scenes) clips is a great way to diversify your content and showcase your personality. Experiment and find what works, from setting up for a recording to editing and bloopers; variety is key.

Master your hashtag strategy

TikTok has become a search engine, with nearly half of Gen Z using the platform over Google search. To show up in these searches, using relevant hashtags is essential. This is an excellent resource for all things TikTok SEO.

Leverage your guests

Got a guest with a decent TikTok following? Be sure to create plenty of assets they can use to promote the episode on their page.

Be prepared to jump on trends

Of course, the goal is to promote your podcast, but you can still jump on trends, especially when they’re super relevant. Follow other TikTokers in the same niche, popular TikTokers and strategists to keep up with trends.

Don’t post and ghost

Finally, remember you’re not just on TikTok to post. Instead, it would help if you spent time engaging on the platform to build your digital footprint. Community-building is big on TikTok, so ensure you’re setting aside time to engage. 

It’s worth remembering that, as with all social platforms, getting results on TikTok can sometimes feel hit and miss. So, don’t get disheartened if you’re struggling to gain traction. Instead, stay consistent, and the results will come.

Best in class

Need some inspo? Here are some of our favourite podcasters on TikTok: 

Black Gals Livin

ShxtsnGigs

The Receipts

Steven Bartlett

The Nearlyweds 

Grace Beverley

The Girls Bathroom

Spend time checking out these best-in-class examples and jot down what you think they’re doing well. Then, you can build a strategy that suits your niche and appeals to your target audience. 

Want to access more podcasting tips, tricks and tools? We got you. Check out our membership options here

5 lessons in video podcasting from YouTube

In December, AdAge reported that TikTok and Podcasts had joined YouTube as leading creator platforms. The report comes at the same time YouTube has released a guide to best practices on the platform. So, now is the perfect time to delve into video podcasting as the two mediums continue to grow. 

The YouTube guide is lengthy at 67 pages long, so we’re summarising five of the key takeaways for you. 

Video podcasting tips

Find your why

If you’ve read our previous articles, you’ll know we’re big on finding your why, and YouTube is too. If you’re considering launching a video podcast, you need to be clear on why you’re doing it. So, start by asking yourself questions such as: 

  • What is your goal for video podcasting? 
  • Are you looking to tap into a new audience? 
  • Who is your ideal viewer? 
  • What value can you offer to your audience?

Consider your branding and your capabilities

Producing audio content is one thing; video is a whole other kettle of fish. So, before you jump in headfirst into video podcasting, things like branding, assets and your capabilities are vital considerations. From creating your channel banner and avatar to video thumbnails and social assets, you should ensure you’re able to meet the additional branding demands of video podcasting. 

If branding is something you outsource, take the time to consider the additional budget required and if it is a worthwhile investment. 

Camera angles and video production are key

Just as you wouldn’t want to publish poor audio, the same goes for video. While your video podcast doesn’t have to be perfectly polished (listeners like authenticity), quality production is essential. There are many things to think about here, from set design and equipment to intros and camera angles. 

For example, audiences on YouTube connect more with a person than with a brand or company. However, how those faces appear on screen can also have an impact. For example, a direct, front-facing camera framing can give the audience a sense of being part of the conversation. In contrast, a side angle can make audiences feel like they’re “watching” a conversation. 

Still trying to figure out where to start? Analyse the video podcasts you tune into, detailing what you do and don’t like about each. From here, you can create a clear picture of how you’ll want your video

Master the different formats

Adding video to your content is an excellent way to diversify and tap into new audiences; understanding different video formats is key. Below are eight of the most popular designs from YouTube – it’s worth considering how you could use them. For example, if you have a podcast that discusses music and film, you may want to add a reaction, watch along and interview formats into the mix. 

(Source: YouTube)

Take some time to think about which formats you’d be open to trying, how they would resonate with your audience and the type of content you could create for each.

Be prepared to experiment

As with most social & streaming platforms, experimenting is essential. Video podcasting offers an excellent chance to test new pieces of content and find what works well for your audience. YouTube advises following these seven steps:

  1. Think sustainably 
  2. Scout YouTube
  3. Be Authentic 
  4. Test
  5. Iterate
  6. Final Iteration
  7. Repeat 

Is video podcasting for you?

Thanks to the versatility, accessibility, and the fact that you can easily repurpose video podcast content, it’s easy to see why many creators are choosing to adopt the format. With that said, it doesn’t mean a video-first approach is free of limitations. 

Sure, podcasting requires a lot of time and skill, but the demands increase further when you add video into the mix. So, before taking the plunge, take the time to research and be honest with yourself about your capabilities. 

If you’re keen to explore the possibilities further, the complete guide from YouTube is well worth a read. 

Ready to take your podcast to the next level? Click here to learn about our membership options so you can join our inclusive podcasting community. 

5 podcast production hacks to save you time

Recording a podcast is one thing; producing it is another. The podcast production process is unlike any other form of content. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, you’re not alone. We’ve got you covered though. This article shares five hacks to refine your workflow and make audio content a breeze.

Preparation

As with most things in life, preparation is key. So, it’s only right we kick off with a couple of hacks to help you prepare for a great episode.

Share questions and notes with guests ahead of recording

Whether you’re following questions or discussing specific topics, share your episode plan with guests before recording so they can be well prepared. Not only will it put them at ease, but it will make for a better conversation, too. 

Script your intro & outro to repurpose as show notes

Ahead of recording, take the time to script your intro and outro. Not only will it make for a great opening and closing to the episode, but it’s an easy hack for creating show notes. Don’t forget to SEO optimise

Recording

Recording is not something that can be rushed or automated. However, there are ways to save yourself time – here’s our favourite: 

Shoot any retakes at the end of an episode/interview for quick editing later

Whether you’re a first-timer or a pro, retakes are usually a given. However, save any retakes for the end of the episode or interview rather than retaking mid-episode. This way, you’ll have all your retakes in one place for quick editing later. 

Automation

Automation is your best friend, so make use of it wherever possible. From using tools like asana to keep on top of tasks to calendly to manage appointments, if you can automate it, you should. Below are two of our go-to tools for podcasters. 

Use Headliner for social promos

Easy and accessible? Yes, and yes. We get it; captioning videos is time-consuming, so it’s easy to see why you might choose to skip this task. However, if you want your podcast to be accessible to everyone, subtitles are necessary. Thankfully, Headliner.app is an excellent tool for accurate subtitles, with minimal editing needed.

Otter.ai is our go-to for transcripts and quick paper edits

Speaking of accessibility, transcripts are a great way to make your show more accessible. While you may not have the time to create transcripts for your show manually, there’s a program for that, too. Otter.ai automates meeting notes with audio recording, transcribed text and highlights summary. Plus, you can use transcripts to pull quotes and create promotional content for the episode. It’s a no-brainer!

Defining your workflow

Of course, what works for us, may not be suited to you. So, the aim of the game is to use trial and error to create a workflow for you. Here’s how you can get started. 

  1. Start by breaking down the process of creating a new episode from inception to distribution, for example, planning, preparation, recording, editing, uploading, automation and promotion. 
  2. For each stage, list everything that needs to be completed, for example, researching the topic, booking the guest, and creating social assets. 
  3. Now for each task, research and write down the tools you can use to automate and refine your process. 

Here are some examples:

Planning > researching the topic > Answer the Public, Google trends and Buzzsomo

Preparation > confirming a time with guests > Calendly and Google calendar 

Promotion > creating social assets > Canva and Headliner

 

Once you’ve listed out all the tools you’ll use, take the time to map out your process from start to finish. Having a clear picture of your production will help to highlight any space for optimisation. 

Creating a podcast from start to finish is no mean feat! Thankfully, with hacks like these in place, you’ll be able to wrap up a finished episode faster, delegate when needed, and refine your processes. Got a hack? Comment below! 

If you’re ready to unlock your podcasting potential with the support of Content is Queen check out our membership options here.

7 disability and accessibility-focused podcasts to check out right now 

During our International Women’s Podcast Festival in June, one of our incredible sessions was Beyond The Transcript, a conversion on podcast accessibility with Jumoke Abdullah, Maya Chupkov, Natasha Lipman and Lydia Watkins. As well as shining a light on the excellent shows, the session highlighted that, like other entertainment mediums, podcasting has a long way to go to become truly inclusive and accessible. 

In this article, we’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some excellent disability and accessibility-focused podcasts you can add to your listening library. 

Is It My ADHD?

Each week, writer Grace Timothy – who was diagnosed with ADHD at 37 – explores what it’s really like to live with ADHD with other women and non-binary people. From late diagnosis and trauma to everyday challenges like dealing with money, socialising and oversharing, Grace and her guests chat candidly about life with ADHD while sharing coping mechanisms with their listeners.  Listen

Proud Stutter

Brought to you by Maya Chupkov, Proud Stutter is a show focused on changing how we understand and talk about stuttering, one conversation at a time. Maya tackles all kinds of topics, from public speaking with a stutter to code-switching; Maya and her guests offer excellent insight into life with a stutter. Not sure where to start? We particularly enjoyed season 2, episode 5: filmmaking, being biracial and hiding your stutter.  Listen

The Wheelchair Activist

The incredible Emma Vogelmann launched her podcast in early 2022 to shine a light on the disabled community and its allies, succeeding in all areas of life. The bi-weekly episodes offer first-hand insight into the lives of the disabled community, covering topics such as feminism and sexual health, the scarcity mindset and uplifting others. If you want to understand the disabled community a little better, The Wheelchair Activist is an excellent starting point. Listen

Sick & Sickening

Sick & Sickening is a bi-weekly podcast by Roxy Chanel Murray. During solo episodes and guest features, Roxy opens up about all things Multiple Sclerosis related. Sharing her journey towards health, you can count on Roxy for insight into the kinds of challenges she faces and the tips or tricks she’s picked up along the way. With episodes as short as five minutes, these bitesize offerings cover topics including disabled love languages, legalising cannabis and multiple sclerosis representation. Listen

The Rest Room

If you or someone you know is living with a chronic illness, The Rest Room by Natasha Lipman comes highly recommended. Delving into what it means to live a fulfilled life with chronic illness, Natasha drops bi-weekly episodes covering various topics. From navigating work and chronic illness to rethinking recovery, this insightful and inspirational podcast is a must-listen. Listen

Disabled Debrief

The Disabled Debrief is an extension of the excellent Conscious Being magazine. The brainchild of Lydia Wilkins, the magazine and podcast is written for and by disabled women and non-binary people. Tackling subjects such as privilege and chronic illness in the workplace and making space for others, The Disabled Debrief is a must-listen. In a recent bonus episode, Natalie Lee, AKA Style Me Sunday, dropped by to chat about unlearning your shame; we’d recommend starting there. Listen

Mentally Yours

Last but certainly not least is Mentally Yours by Metro. Hosts Ellen Scott and Yvette Caster chat with people who have lived with mental illness to educate, empathise, and challenge stigma. With guests opening up about postpartum psychosis, children’s mental health and eating disorders, the podcast opens listeners up to a host of first-hand experiences of mental illness. Mentally Yours is a good choice if you’re searching for a varied weekly podcast to add to your library. Listen

Got a podcast you think the Content is Queen should tune into? Comment below and let us know. If you’d like to tune into our Beyond The Transcript panel, you can access it along with all the other content from the festival with a virtual pass.

The latest podcast statistics and what they mean for creators

As you know, we’re obsessed with all things podcasting. The same goes for podcasting stats. This article looks at some of the latest podcast statistics from MIDAS’ (Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services) Summer Survey 2022. Better yet, we’re exploring what they mean for audio creators and how you can use them to your advantage.

Podcasting stats in 2022

A new high of 19% of adults are listening to podcasts every week

That’s right. Podcast listeners have reached an all-time high as 10.5m Brits listen to podcasts weekly for a total of 69m hours. Based on these statistics, the average listener consumes 6.5 hours of podcasts each week. 

This is excellent news for creators as podcasts grow in popularity. With more people consuming podcasts, your potential audience share increases. Of course, you’ll still want to ensure you’re doing everything possible to get in front of your potential audience, so be sure to read our top tips on SEO optimising your podcast.

UK podcast listening is 58% male

The survey found that men make up 58% of listeners in the UK, a similar stat in the US. If this comes as a surprise to you, it offers some food for thought. How well do you know your audience? Who is your podcast for, and what are you doing to appeal to them? 

To organisations and brands keen to tap into the male audience, have you considered podcasting as a marketing tool? Not only is it an excellent way to foster connection, but it’s also a cost-effective channel to reach a super-engaged audience.

The peak time for podcast listening is around 9 am

According to the survey, 93% of people listen to podcasts alone and, most commonly, when working or studying (33%). The second most common time for tuning in is when listeners were driving or travelling (22%). 

We know that listeners value consistency. So, if you need to be more consistent with your release schedule, you should be. If listeners can expect your episode before 9 am on release day, they’ll be able to slot it into their daily routine to enjoy it as they’re working, studying, or commuting.

68% of podcast listeners listen to the whole episode

The survey found that 68% of listeners consume the whole episode. How does your podcast compare? You can use this statistic as a ballpark to review your listener behaviour and adjust your format. 

For example, if you’ve found that most listeners are dropping off before the midway point, you may want to consider shorter episodes. But, on the flip side, if you have a high percentage of listeners sticking around for the entire episode, this is an excellent selling point for brand partnerships.

70% listen to mostly all the podcast episodes they downloaded

Simply put, if your podcast is in someone’s library, they’re likely to listen. Have you included a solid call to action in your episodes? The best calls to action are always specific and straightforward. So, ensure you’re telling listeners to subscribe to your show. 

It’s always helpful to keep up to date with industry stats, so you can understand where you’re at in comparison. Doing so will allow you to identify your strengths and where there’s room for improvement.  

2022 has been an excellent year for podcasting, and we’re excited to see how 2023 and beyond play out.  If you’re ready to take your podcasting to the next level with the support of the Content is Queen community, click here to explore our membership options. There’s never been a more exciting time in the audio space!

Securing affiliate and brand partnerships for your podcast

We’ve previously covered finding sponsors for your podcast, and we’re back again with more tips and tricks on monetising your podcast. You’ll want to read on if you’re considering affiliate marketing or brand partnerships.

Affiliate marketing for podcasters

Affiliate links are an excellent starting point if you’re ready to dip a toe into brand partnerships. Affiliate links allow creators to earn a commission for a specific action from their audience, which is referred to as CPA (cost-per-action). The most common action is a sale, but you can also get paid for clicks, leads or referrals. 

Many of your favourite brands will likely have an affiliate program in place. Their program will either be hosted on an affiliate network such as AWIN, LikeToKnowIt or Skimlinks, or managed in-house.

How you can use affiliate links

Step 1: To start with affiliate marketing, you can sign up for your preferred or several affiliate platforms.

Step 2: Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get access to a database of brands, and you can apply to their programs. 

Step 3: Once accepted, you’ll be able to create affiliate links and earn an agreed commission for every action you generate. 

Step 4: If you’d prefer to share a code with your audience, you can get in touch with the brand and request a code. They can track these codes, and you’ll earn a commission every time someone uses it.

Once you’re on an affiliate program and driving sales, referrals, or traffic for a brand, it presents new opportunities. You can use a proven track record to secure an increased commission, gifted items, commission bonuses or upfront payment in return for exposure. 

There is no exclusivity clause when you’re working on an affiliate basis. So, you can promote various brands wherever relevant. 

Top tip: affiliate marketing is at its best when it’s authentic. You have an audience that trusts you, and you don’t want to jeopardise that, so ensure you’re only promoting brands that align with your values and will appeal to your audience.

Brand partnerships for podcasters

As mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing is an excellent segway to brand partnerships. When you can show brands tangible results you’ve driven for them, they’re more likely to invest in your content, whether through gifting, discounts, or an upfront fee. 

However, you don’t need affiliate links to establish meaningful brand partnerships. For example, perhaps there’s a particular clothing brand you’re always wearing on camera. Or if there’s a skincare brand you rave about in every episode, there’s an opportunity. 

If there are brands you are a genuine fan of and already featuring organically, you’ve got the foundations of a successful brand partnership.

How to pitch brand partnerships

Step 1: Before you pitch to brands, you should create a media deck detailing everything they need to know about your podcast and its audience, including as much data as possible. 

Step 2: Consider how you’d like to be compensated. Are you happy with gifting? Would you like to charge a set fee? Again, having a clear idea before negotiating with brands is essential.

Step 3: Use LinkedIn or Twitter to find partnership/influencer managers to reach out to, you don’t want your pitch to land in an unmonitored inbox. 

Step 4: When going into a paid partnership with a brand, you should always ensure a contract is in place so you’ll get compensated as agreed. 

Step 5: Be sure to read our guide on how to record great podcast ads so you can nail the delivery. 

Top tip: it’s common for paid partnerships to require exclusivity, at least within their niche. So, pitch to your top choices first before considering other partners. 

Again, brand partnerships can be an excellent foundation for securing long-term sponsorship for your podcast. So, consider the bigger picture and be prepared to play the long game when approaching affiliate marketing & brand partnerships for your podcast. 

Want more tips and tricks? Join our community here, and read more of our insider podcasting and content creator knowledge here.

How podcasting became the safe space so many of us needed

As many of us look to podcasts for escapism, education, and storytelling, it’s also become a safe space for people when they need it most. In this article, we’re looking at how women and other marginalised groups found their tribe thanks to audio. 

Online censorship

In 2021, the Centre for Intimacy Justice studied 60 businesses that serve women’s health and health for people of diverse genders that had attempted to advertise on Facebook. Of the 60 surveyed, every company had experienced Facebook or Instagram rejecting an ad. 

Of the 60 businesses surveyed, 50% reported that Facebook – now Meta – suspended their entire ad accounts for violating the terms, citing that the ads were classified as “adult products” as the most common reason for rejection. 

The brands facing rejected ads categories included pregnancy or postpartum care, menopause, pelvic pain, menstrual health, fertility, sexual wellness, education, and others. 

While these female-focused ads were being rejected, the platforms allowed the below ads to run.

(Source: Centre for Intimacy Justice

Biased much? 

It isn’t the first time we’ve seen a report like this; unfortunately, it won’t be the last. However, as the report showcased the downside of social media, it also highlighted the positive of podcasting.  

Finding our voices through podcasting

When leading social platforms censor women’s health and sexual wellness, podcasting sits at the other end of the spectrum. Enter podcasts such as The Sexual Wellness Sessions, PERIOD podcast and The Dr Louise Newson Podcast. 

To us, podcasting is a space that allows creators to tackle ‘taboo’ subjects head-on. Audio isn’t a space of censorship or shying away from ‘difficult’ topics. Instead, podcasting is a space that champions these conversations to take place. As a result, marginalised communities feel heard and as if they have a community to turn to in times of need. 

In a survey of 1,000 podcast listeners in the UK and US who identify as women and men, Acast found that 92% of respondents are open to hearing about ‘sensitive and less spoken about’ topics. Furthermore, 57% of respondents shared that they ‘fully expect’ hosts and guests to cover sensitive issues.

Because of the nature of audio, it allows for authentic, inquisitive and candid conversations, which resonate with listeners. As a result, the medium fosters a genuine connection that can’t be replicated in other online formats.

Podcasting also serves as a safe space for hosts too. Explaining how the medium allows a carefree approach to content creation, Bianca Foley from the Sustainably Influenced podcast shared:

“As someone who lives their life online on Instagram and other social media platforms, podcasting allowed us to reach a whole new audience in a more carefree way! On visual platforms, I always feel that I have to be “made up” whereas podcasting is all about the content of the conversation and not what I look like!”

This sentiment of freedom is echoed by Sherween Gonzales from the *(Relate)able Podcast who told us:

“Podcasting allowed me to be open, honest, be free about things that I’m interested in, things that I love, things that I’ve experienced and there’s just no judgement. I’m able to reach my audience on a personal level. I can just speak freely; be myself. There are no cameras; nobody watching. It’s just myself and my two co-hosts speaking and having fun.”

Podcasts you should check out

It’s refreshing to flick through the podcasting charts and see so many diverse creators have found their voice. From tackling racism and homophobia to mental health and sexual wellness, podcasts offer genuine connections and conversations no other medium can.

Here are some of our favourites:

1. *(Relate)able Podcast
2. The Log Books
3. Shade Podcast
4. All in Due Time
5. XENO
6. Menopause Whilst Black
7. Black Meno and Beyond

In a nutshell, podcasting is the medium for you if you’ve got something you want to say without censorship. If you’re ready to take to the mic and could use the support of our inclusive community, click here to discover our membership options.