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Like YouTube, but audio. So why is Facebook shutting down its podcast service, and what's next for the podcast industry?

Reading time4 mins reading
Influencer Marketing
5/19/2022

Facebook is shutting down its podcast service on June 3, barely a year after its launch. The social media giant told TechCrunch that it will discontinue its short-form audio Soundbites feature and its Audio hub in the coming weeks.

Why is Facebook doing it? How much will creators earn from ads on podcasts in the US this year? What is worth listening to if you have free time? In this text, we give answers to all these questions.

Let’s go.

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Source: unsplash.com

The Meta company is leaving the podcast market, but not because it is an unpromising niche. Rather, the decision is dictated by the fact that Mark Zuckerberg's pet project company cannot compete with everyone at once. The company will focus its efforts on promoting reels, a short video format, primarily competing with TikTok. In terms of audio formats, Apple, Spotify, Twitter, Clubhouse and independent content producers remain the main players in the market.

Podcast industry growth - 2022

A study from the IAB and PwC predicts U.S.-based ad sales on podcasts will “exceed” $2 billion by the end of 2022, hit $3 billion next year and cross $4 billion by 2024.

The IAB and PwC also found that advertisers are running far more of what it calls “dynamically inserted ads,” aka, ads read live by podcast hosts rather than inserted as pre-recorded, TV commercial-like spots.

The remark about dynamic advertising integrations is especially interesting for us in influencer marketing development. It turns out that in the podcast industry, listeners prefer those advertising messages that are similar to YouTuber's advertising integrations.

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Source: unsplash.com

In general, the positive situation for the industry is shown by the growth in advertising revenue and the spread of the podcasts’ culture spread. Back in 2006, only 22 percent of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. By 2021, this figure had risen to 78 percent. Podcasting is an increasingly popular pastime in the US, and there will be an estimated 120 million podcast listeners in the country in 2021. Forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023 after increasing to around 20 million each year.

If we talk about the situation in the global market, we can see the same trends as in the United States.

A Grand View Research study valued the global podcast market size at $9.28 billion in 2019. They calculated a potential compound annual growth rate of 27.5% for the industry from 2020 to 2027. This means that the podcasting industry will likely reach $60.5 billion in 2027.

According to another forecast, the outlook for the industry is also good.

Insider Intelligence projects 424.2 million podcast listeners worldwide in 2022, accounting for 20.3% of internet users. Podcasting will be a $94.88 billion industry by 2028.

Who is listening to podcasts? And why are they so popular?

The answer is very simple: podcasts are like YouTube but in an audio format. Producing audio content is much less expensive. and to make a good show, it is enough to find either an interesting guest or choose a relevant topic.

People listen to podcasts on their way to work, while walking or playing sports. In short, whenever you need to tear yourself away from the screen, a podcast exists. The pandemic, of course, brought special attention to the industry. But even after the acute phase of COVID-19 is over, podcasts continue to grow in popularity. According to Edison Research, in January 2022, 50% of monthly U. podcast listeners are aged 12-34, with 43% between 35 and 54 years old, and 22% are aged over 55.

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By the way, audio-based social media platforms are beginning to become more well known, with 12% of those in the US over 12 aware of Twitter Spaces, 10% aware of Clubhouse and 9% aware of Greenroom.

Is Clubhouse still popular in 2022?

Perhaps someone found out about podcasts because of the viral popularity of Clubhouse last year. According to Statista, its active weekly audience reached 10 million people in February 2021.

But because of the decrease of Clubhouse mentions in the news, it may seem the popularity of this service is already a thing of the past. And to some extent, it is. The viral popularity of Clubhouse has played a cruel trick on it. The success was so mesmerizing that virtually all social networks have announced plans to integrate the collective voice discussion feature into their services. As we already know, Facebook has abandoned podcasts and has not implemented an audio discussion format on Instagram. But Twitter, on the other hand, was able to implement a full-fledged analog of the Clubhouse service; the Twitter Spaces function.

Due to Twitter's larger base of active users (217 million by the end of 2021), we can say that in the battle of Clubhouse against Twitter, the latter has won a confident victory. And yes, the name of Twitter Spaces, after the purchase of the company by Elon Musk, somehow  sounds even prophetic.

What do we recommend you listen to?

In general, we certainly love videos more. In the link below, we share why speaking with a young audience using influencers’ video blogs is important.

In general, Hypetrain helps find influencers who primarily promote themselves through YouTube and Instagram. But we're also inspired by cool podcasts. We've prepared our top 5, and if you want to share your finds and favorites, send us an email; we'd love to expand our list.

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Marketing Geeks

Let's face it; they haven't been putting out a lot of podcasts lately. But the channel already has 136 episodes, and if you're not familiar with Justin Womack and Andros Sturgeon, you won't be bored. Whether you are interested in internet marketing, influencer marketing, copywriting, or psychological tactics, you will love this show.

The Marketing Secrets Show

Russell Brunson's signature show has over 530 episodes. You'll definitely need to put it on  2x speed to get through all the content.

The Blogging Millionaire

If you want to build your own media empire, this is the place for you. Maybe Mr. Beast is listening to this show.

The Digital Marketing Podcast

An advertising-free, weekly digital marketing podcast with listeners in over 180 countries.

Well, last on the list, but not last in quality (and out of marketing topic) is Death, Sex & Money. It is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of the polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you've heard of- and to regular people you haven't- about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we're here.

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