The NY Times asks: “Have We Hit Peak Podcast?”
Earlier this week the New York Times ran a piece about whether we have hit “peak podcast.” It referred to similar numbers posted in two recent Blogstein posts about how many of the 706,000 podcasts out there are still in production (hint: only 18% added an episode in a three month period). Those posts generated a good deal of chatter about the arc of podcasting and whether looking at active versus total podcasts was of value. Of course it is. Trees don’t grow to the sky and it is important to have a sense of calibration about where we really are in this feverish podcast environment.
You can find both posts here: “How many of the 706,000 podcasts are still in production?” and “Podcast stats- The sequel.”
The New York Times article talks about the ease of starting a podcast and the failure that ensues for many. The piece by Jennifer Miller compares podcasting, as others have before, to blogging in its earlier days when it seems everyone had to have one. It also makes a critical point that a big audience isn’t always the correct metric. That indeed is true for hobbyists and niche players. The right audience can be small but perfectly targeted.
My friend Jordan Harbinger has a remarkably successful podcast (250,000 downloads per episode). He is featured in the NY Times article for a speech he often makes “dissuading” people from starting a podcast. Back in January of 2018, I ran a blog post with an article he penned entitled “Thinking of Starting a Podcast? Don’t”. Yes, the title has tongue firmly in cheek, but the point of the article, and in the New York Times piece, is one I refer to often —good podcast content is hard. And a lot of podcast content is bad. The article is a great primer for anyone looking to start a podcast, and a good read for anyone who is currently struggling.
Good content indeed is hard.