2024 Branded Podcast Predictions from JAR Audio’s Leadership

With the New Year comes a fresh start and a world of possibilities. What will 2024 hold for branded podcasts? Here’s what our leadership team thinks. 

 

By: Laurissa Cebryk

2023 was a huge year for both branded podcasts and podcasts in general, with a lot of positive numbers and stats to reflect upon. Right now, there are over five million podcasts with a cumulative 70 million+ episodes. Listenership increased by around 40 million — and not just here in Canada. Chile saw an 84% rise in podcast listener growth in 2023. 

All these numbers are great, but for marketers, there are a few other standouts for 2023. 

  1. The global market size hit $23.5 billion. 
  2. 34% of non-listeners are open to listening to podcasts — they just need to find the right show. 
  3. Over half of marketers are already incorporating podcasts into their marketing strategies. 
  4. People trust both podcasts and podcast hosts. 

Now, one of the best parts about the New Year isn’t just looking back and seeing how the year measured up. It’s getting to pull out your crystal ball and make some predictions! We asked some of our leadership team from a variety of departments to tell us what they think is in store for 2024. 

Here’s what they think! 

Roger Nairn, CEO

“In 2024 I predict that branded podcasts will continue to grow, but will become more niche-focused as brands really dial in on who their exact audience is. I also see many more brands create networks with multiple shows each designed for a specific niche audience.”

Again, a lot of marketing leaders are already incorporating podcasting into their marketing strategy, so Roger could be onto something here. As for becoming more niche… Well, we always drive home the importance of finding what your audience cares about to our clients. The podcasts we craft are for them! Becoming more niche will be crucial for engagement, conversions, and trust in 2024. 

Jen Moss, CCO

“I feel the ‘shine’ will come off the AI conversation a bit as human podcasters work through the various potentials and limitations of existing AI tools in the audio and video spaces. I also see more conversations around transparency, the reliability of information, and the need for authentic content to ensure brand safety.”

Using AI in podcasts grew around 500% in 2022, and just under half of podcasters use AI to help with their creation process. It will be interesting to see how those numbers have and will change. As far as authenticity goes, Jen is right on the money. What a lot of listeners love about branded podcasts is that they feel like they can trust and relate to the brands. More transparency and authenticity = better relationships. 

Sam Seguin, Technical Director

“My gut tells me that in 2024, brands will break the mold and take a brave leap into fiction and storytelling podcasts. As they continue to try and capture younger audiences, they’ll be looking to show off their brand culture and authenticity in new and creative ways. We’ll see more entertainment and less thought leadership.”

In 2022, fiction podcasts had one of the best listen-through rates, alongside true crime. While podcasts are often held akin to news, they are still a creative medium. We love walking that line between fact and fiction, and believe there is a place in branded podcasting for fiction-based podcasts. 

Liz Hames, Director of Audience Growth

I predict an increased focus on engagement metrics in 2024, and thus more high-quality, creatively ambitious podcasts from brands that truly understand the value of minutes and hours of rapt attention from listeners.”

Engagement is the real trust-builder for podcasts, and we’ve dubbed it one of our most important KPIs. As more and more marketers come to this realization (slowly but surely), Liz could be on the money. Quality is key across the board, and when you realize engagement and quality go hand-in-hand, more podcasts will start to respect their audience enough to ensure every second is valuable. 

Happy New Year! We hope your crystal ball is filled with images of success, fun, laughter, and a few chart-topping shows. At JAR Audio, we can’t wait to see what 2024 brings.

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