In this day and age, there are countless channels available to consume media.  From the radio to television to social media networks, we are constantly bombarded with information and can access any content at our fingertips.  New channels are cropping up all the time as well.  One way to consume media that has skyrocketed in popularity is listening to podcasts.  Podcasting is expected to be a $1 billion industry by 2021 and listeners are expected to top 100 million in the United States alone.  Let’s dive into the podcasting industry and how it looks around the world.

Advertising is the most enticing way for companies to make money off of podcasts.  According to Business Insider, the audience for podcasts tends to be young, affluent, and educated, as well as open to advertisements.  Furthermore, many podcasts have the host of the podcast doing the advertising.  If a product or service is recommended by a speaker the audience trusts, they are more inclined to check out the product. 

While podcasting is growing around the globe, it looks very different from region to region.  In the United States, podcasts tend to be freely available to those with an app on a mobile device or access to an internet browser.  The revenue is generated through advertisements throughout the podcast episode.  However, in Europe, there is a much smaller advertising market for podcasters, so many podcasting platforms charge a subscription fee for access content.  The difference in structure between the United States and the European podcast industry comes from a lack of infrastructure for podcasts in Europe.

Podcasts are also growing in popularity in other parts of the world.  In China, the majority of podcast listeners listen to podcasts every day, demonstrating a strong following among those interested in podcasts. In Latin America, the most popular podcast, a current events update called O Assunto, was downloaded an average of 814.7 thousand times per week while a sample was being done.

The podcasting industry has come a long way in the past fifteen years.  In 2006, only twenty-two percent of adults in the United States were aware of podcasting as an avenue for media consumption.  That number is now seventy-five percent.  Despite all of its past growth, there is still room for the podcasting industry to expand in the United States and around the world.

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