There’s a gap in the global podcast market, and it’s called Australia

Acast's Henrik Isaksson discovers why Australia has the potential to becoming one of the world's fastest growing podcast players.

There’s no doubt podcasting is in its ascendancy here in Australia, with an estimated 17% of the population having listened to a podcast in the last month. This is no surprise – Australia is steeped in a rich tradition of storytelling and a unique history which easily captivates both local and global audiences.

“Casefile” is a great example of an Australian podcast which has been a successful in other English speaking markets, and I think we will continue to see well told stories from Australia’s underbelly crossing over into the mainstream in 2018.

But there is far more to podcasting than true crime, and there are other topics that the rest of the world look to Australia for. One of these pillars is health and wellness, which is such an integral part of the Australian cultural psyche. As trends such as wellness, gut health and naturopathy continues to grow, Australia’s thought leaders will be well placed to create great, advice-driven content that will find an audience throughout the world.

This year will be a big one for indie podcasting in Australia. Established broadcasters and publishing houses in Australia are already creating some world class content, but as the influencer market becomes saturated on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, there will be plenty of people with established audiences who see the revenue potential and further audience reach in podcasting.

Stronger focus on audience growth and monetisation

Audience growth is a focus for local podcasters moving into 2018, as we see them looking toward more mature markets to see how to create growth, such as the UK or USA. The other key focus for podcast creators is monetisation – how to turn their show into a consistent revenue flow.

One particularly healthy sign we’ve seen for the market in Australia is the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Australia releasing a common operating standards for podcast advertising in November of last year. These guidelines are aimed at improving transparently, as advertisers are increasingly looking to exploit the burgeoning medium. As a result, there is a palpable sense that major advertisers are beginning to sit up and take notice of this medium.

We’re getting close to a point where demand is outstripping supply when it comes to podcasting, and that’s a great news for our local talent.

Search and premium comes to podcasting

With the acquisition of AudioSearch.FM, Apple made a bold move to reclaim some of the territory it had lost to competitors in the realm of audio discovery. This is a signal that Apple sees the upcoming year of podcasting as one that will be waged between itself and platforms such as Acast – both trying to surface content to a podcast audience that doesn’t yet exist.

Search and native apps are muscling into a territory that they will help expand quickly, giving podcast creators tremendous new freedom in storytelling formats and even revenue models.

When podcasting reaches its potential size, it will look more like peak radio penetration thanks to these many new and improved sources of discovery. As a result we’ll start to see several revenue models arise to support the diversity of content now possible by releasing the form from RSS—short form, daily, one-offs—supported by ads, subscription or in-app purchasing, finally yielding the diversity that has always been podcasting’s essential promise.

Henrik Isaksson is country manager for Australia, Acast.


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