The exponential growth of the podcast industry in 2020 was accompanied by a great deal of new technology for podcasters, a trend that is expected to accelerate in 2021. From longstanding industry leaders to new startups, the creation of goods and services that addressed podcaster needs and pain points were good for business. Below, you can find an overview of categories that are showing the most promising development in creating new technology for podcasters.
Podcast Editing and Production Services
Some podcasters just want to record their show and leave the editing and production work to the experts. While nearly anyone is hypothetically capable of editing their own podcast, it isn’t always worth the extra time and stress it can create. Very few podcasters have an audio engineering background, so the technological component of podcasting can present a major stumbling block.
This pain point has given rise to new technology for podcasters that facilitates the outsourcing of podcast-related tasks to a growing number of podcast production agencies. These agencies work as a concierge service, giving podcasters the ability to hand off the less creative aspects of their show for a fee.
Thanks to new services, podcasters can outsource a wide range of podcast production-related tasks. Packages range from basic audio editing to full-service production packages that cover lots of “extras” like guest booking, marketing, and social media content.
A few podcast production companies that led the pack in 2020 include Resonate Recordings, Castos, and We Edit Podcasts.
Guest Booking Services
For many podcasters, guests are instrumental in creating new content. Frequently, podcasts are structured with each episode focused on a featured guest who brings their field of expertise and unique perspective to the show.
When your ability to produce new content relies on third-party contributions, however, guest booking becomes a high-stakes game. Finding and scheduling on-brand guests with enough notoriety to grow their audience can cause podcasters a lot of stress — and it can nearly become a full-time job.
Furthermore, the value of guest booking works in both directions. Podcast hosts and industry experts also want to get booked as a guest on podcasts that reach their target audience. From academics to influencers to industry experts, booking podcast guest spots is a low-cost (or free!) way to get valuable press coverage.
Podcast hosts know firsthand the value that guests provide for podcasts — and vice versa. When podcasts hosts get booked on other shows, it’s a tool to promote their own podcast to a likeminded audience.
Thus, it’s no surprise that the podcast industry has implemented new technology for podcasters that has given rise to the podcast guest matchmaking industry. Thanks to increased demand for guests, both podcasters and potential guests now have the ability to pay to outsource the bulk of the work. Paid podcast guest booking services that led the charge in 2020 included Expert Bookers, Podcast Bookers, and Experts on Air.
Fortunately, it is also possible to get access to guest booking opportunities for free. Women’s podcast network Ossa gives all of their members access to their in-house guest booking platform, Podswap. Podcasters who apply for a free Ossa membership can join and connect with over 1,000 women in podcasting, find and book guests for their show, and get booked as a guest on other podcasts.
Audio livestreams have been around for a long time, but they were applied as a new technology for podcasters in 2020. Hosting platforms like Podbean attempted to get the upper hand by integrating new audio live-streaming technology into their list of offerings.
The new Podbean Livestream enables podcasters to turn their podcast production into a live show, with interactive features designed to facilitate audience engagement. The platform gives podcasters access to new functionality, like the ability to get real-time messages and feedback from their audience during a show. It also offers podcasters new monetization opportunities with a built-in feature to receive live gifts from fans.
Podbean Livestream also offers new technology for podcast listeners. The new platform gives listeners the opportunity to participate in their favorite shows in a whole new way. Fans get access to lots of new ways to interface with their favorite podcasters, like calling in to join a podcaster’s live show.
Podbean Live Streamers can send interviewee and co-host invitations to their live show in just a few clicks and even assign an admin to manage guests, audiences and messages during their live show.
Marketing Tools & Services
In 2020, the industry witnessed increased interest in a 360-degree approach to podcast marketing. While podcasters continue to experiment with the most effective promotional strategies to grow their podcast audience, businesses will continue to create new tools to help them with the process.
As the podcast industry expands, podcasters are relying on an increasing number of tools to cut through the noise. Popular tools include written content, guest spots, transcriptions, network membership, show notes, email lists, RSS feeds, SEO keywords, video, live feeds, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and podcast ads, among others.
Recognizing the increased demand for podcaster promo tools in 2020, Spotify implemented new technology for podcasters that made episode sharing easier than ever. Spotify launched their Promo Cards feature to give podcasters automatically-generated custom visual assets that could easily be used to promote their podcast and new episodes on social media.
There was a lot of discussion in the podcast world in 2020 about the issue of discoverability. Some podcasters — especially those with newer shows — have grown frustrated at the challenge of making their show visible for consumption in an increasingly-crowded podcast market.
With many of the same shows headlining the Top 100 week after week, reaching the front page on Spotify or Apple Podcasts tends to feel unattainable. In addition, promotional placement is usually reserved for new shows hosted by celebrities or produced by major networks.
Anyone thinking of starting a new podcast in 2021 with the primary goal of cultivating a large audience should take note. New podcasters will need to be very strategic about creating a show that fits an in-demand niche. It is also more important than ever for podcasters to make data-based decisions about strategic topics to discuss on their show and keywords that should be included. Newbies also may want to enlist the help of a podcast marketing expert to develop a custom launch strategy as well as an ongoing game plan for podcast discovery.
There are platforms that have popped up in recent years to address the discoverability issue that so many podcasters are facing. Platforms like Breaker, Podchaser, Podsearch and Discover Pods have each taken their own unique spin on building a system that helps listeners discover new podcasts that fit their interests while helping podcasters get discovered by their target audience.
You also may have noticed that Google has started to display individual podcast episodes in your search results. Thus, if someone searches for material on a niche topic or specific person, Google search results will include the top podcast episodes that fit their query.
New Technology for Podcasters in 2021
As a show host, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by all of the new technology for podcasters with an increasing number of options and limited bandwidth. There are many factors that can impact how effective a certain tool will be for a podcaster in facilitating the success of their podcast. Thus, it is essential for podcasters to be thoughtful and strategic about which goods and services to incorporate into their show’s production. Sometimes, less is more.
In 2021, we expect to see the rapid development and release of new tools and services designed to address various podcaster pain points. Stay tuned to Ossa’s podcast industry news for announcements on the latest new technology for podcasters that you may be able to leverage to grow your show!