New podcasts are on the decline, according to numbers released by data provider Chartr.
Analysts at International Production Statistics revealed that 219,00 podcasts made their debut in 2022 – a sharp decline from the previous year, when 729,000 new titles were released. It was already down in 2020 – the peak pandemic lockdown – which launched 1,109,000 new podcasts.
Kate Taylor, founder of the Feast Collective network, which supports freelance podcasters, told the UK’s Guardian:
“It feels like we’re in that ‘hard second album’ moment now, and there’s definitely a lot to think about. I would say sponsorship is hard to find now and investors are hard to understand the amount needed to do something right.”
To put things into perspective, the Guardian notes that an estimated three million podcasts are currently available around the world, most produced in America and Brazil.
Established titles are already generating new content, and the same titles appear week after week on Apple’s podcast charts.
A fortnight ago, a panel of podcast executives told the UK’s Royal Television Society that, while it was difficult to break into the important top ten of this chart, the flexibility, relative cheapness, and flexibility of podcast production in terms of content and episode length. Exercise and the fact that anyone with a microphone can do it still makes it an attractive proposition. The podcast industry in the UK was estimated to be worth £40m ($48.2m) in 2021.
They added that, even if there’s no real money to be made from podcasts themselves, the IP they create could become valuable for adaptation by film and TV producers — eventually.
Darrell Brown, managing director of What’s the Story podcast production company, told the panel:
“TV doesn’t move as fast as podcasting. There is a green light period, an alternate period, rights will be tied for a while, it may take a little longer.”