Latest Podcast Trend – 5 Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss

Subscribe to Smarter Podcasting

The podcasting world is a dynamic one, constantly buzzing with innovation and audience preferences. What attracted listeners last year might not be the recipe for success today. To stay ahead of the curve and keep your podcast thriving, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest podcast trend.

I’m Niall Mackay, founder of Seven Million Bikes Podcasts. Doing podcasts for years, I understand that podcasts nowadays are much more different from those when I first started. Therefore, I always keep a pulse on the latest trends shaping the industry.

Content, formats, and even how listeners consume podcasts are constantly evolving. That’s why I’m always on the hunt for the latest trends. It’s not just about keeping things fresh, though. Understanding what listeners are digging into these days helps me connect with my target audience on a deeper level and stand out in this ever-growing podcast ocean.

Niall Mackay

1. Podcast Content

Niche Podcasts 

This trend strengthens the point about the power of expertise. By focusing on specific niches, creators can become true authorities in their chosen fields. This allows them to attract passionate listeners seeking in-depth knowledge and unique insights into their area of interest.

For example, think of a podcast dedicated solely to the history of video games. It can deliver the content of the evolution of specific genres, analyze the impact of groundbreaking titles, and feature interviews with game developers.  By focusing on this niche, the creators can establish themselves as thought leaders in the gaming world, attracting a dedicated audience.

Edutainment Content Creation

The world of podcasts is no longer just about pure entertainment. Edutainment, the clever mashup of “education” and “entertainment,” is increasing in 2024. These podcasts cover a wide range of topics, from history and science to personal development and pop culture, using storytelling, humor, and creative formats to make learning enjoyable and accessible. 

  • Diverse Subject Matter

 Edutainment podcasts cover various subjects, catering to different interests and preferences.

  • Narrative-driven Storytelling

These podcasts often feature compelling narratives, engaging characters, and immersive sound design to bring stories to life.

  • Expert Interviews

Some edutainment podcasts feature interviews with experts, scholars, authors, and thought leaders in various fields. These interviews provide listeners with valuable insights, perspectives, and expertise on specific topics, adding depth and credibility to the content.

  • Humor and Wit

Humorous anecdotes, witty banter, and comedic sketches can make complex or dry topics more accessible and enjoyable.

  • Educational Value

Despite their entertaining nature, edutainment podcasts prioritize educational value and accuracy. Content creators strive to provide well-researched, fact-checked information presented in a clear, engaging, and understandable manner.

Podcasts using this type of content are gaining success in the podcast industry such as “Stuff You Missed in History Class”, “Philosophize This!” or “You Must Remember This”.

Latest Podcast Trend

Podcast length

When considering podcast length, many factors can influence:

  • Content: Complex topics may need more time for thorough exploration, while lighter fare thrives in a shorter format.
  • Target Audience: Busy professionals might favor shorter episodes, while dedicated fans of a particular niche may be happy with longer formats.
  • Consumption Habits: Podcast listeners who multitask often prefer shorter episodes, while those who listen during dedicated listening sessions might be open to longer formats.
  • There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to ideal podcast length. However, there are definite trends emerging in 2024 that cater to listener preferences and consumption habits:

Sweet Spot: 20-40 Minutes

This is the average podcast listening time so it remains the golden zone for many podcasts. It’s long enough to develop a thought or tell a compelling story, yet short enough to fit into busy schedules and avoid listener fatigue. It’s also ideal for multitasking listeners who consume podcasts while commuting, exercising, or doing chores.

Rise of Shorter Podcast Episodes (Under 15 Minutes)

Micro-podcasts are gaining traction, offering quick bursts of information or inspiration in under 10 minutes. This caters to listeners with even tighter schedules who crave bite-sized learning or entertainment. Think of them as audio “snackables” for those on the go.

Long-Form Content (Over 60 Minutes)

While less common, long-form podcasts still have a dedicated audience. These in-depth dives are ideal for complex topics, serialized narratives, or interview-driven shows. Listeners who can dedicate larger chunks of focused time may prefer these deep explorations.

2. Podcast Format

Audio or Video?

Audio vs Video Podcasts – which one is best for you? Let’s see

Video podcasting  – New Trend

Video podcasts, also known as vodcasts or vidcasts, have been gaining popularity as a podcast format trend in recent years and continue to evolve in 2024.

  • Increased Popularity

Video podcasts have become increasingly popular due to the rising demand for visual content and the accessibility of platforms like YouTube and social media for hosting video content. 

Podcast creators are using video podcasts to reach new audiences and engage with their existing fan base in a more immersive way.

  • Cross-platform Distribution

Many podcasters are expanding their reach by distributing their audio content as video podcasts on platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch or creating short video content for social media posts. By repurposing their audio episodes into video format, creators can tap into the vast audience of these video platforms and attract viewers who prefer visual content.

Audio – Old but Gold

Indeed, audio podcasts remain a classic and enduring medium in the world of digital content. Despite the emergence of new formats like video podcasts, audio podcasts continue to hold a special place in the hearts of creators and listeners alike.

  • Accessibility

Audio podcasts are incredibly accessible, requiring only a pair of headphones or speakers to enjoy. This accessibility makes them a convenient choice for listeners who want to consume content while commuting, exercising, or engaging in other activities where visual attention may be limited.

Audio vs Video Podcasts
  • Imagination

Unlike video format, which provides visual cues and stimuli, audio podcasts stimulate the listener’s imagination by painting vivid pictures through sound alone. This immersive quality allows listeners to create their own mental images and interpretations of the content, fostering a deeper level of engagement.

Video vs audio podcasts have their pros and cons. By adopting a hybrid approach, creators can harness the strengths of both audio and video formats to create engaging and immersive podcast content that appeals to a broader audience. This strategy allows them to maintain the convenience and accessibility of audio podcasts while also leveraging the visual storytelling capabilities of video content.

Podcast Live Interaction

In recent times, there has been a notable rise in podcast live sessions, marking a significant shift in the podcasting landscape. This trend reflects the growing demand for real-time engagement and interactive content among podcast audiences. Here are some reasons why this form is become popular lately:

  • Boosting Engagement

Live sessions break the mold of traditional, pre-recorded podcasts. Listeners can participate in real-time through chat functions, polls, or Q&A segments, fostering a dynamic and interactive experience.

The live element injects a dose of excitement and anticipation. Listeners can tune in knowing they’re part of a unique event, creating a sense of community and shared experience.

  • Building Deeper Connections

This form allows creators to directly interact with their listeners, fostering a more personal connection. Responding to real-time comments and questions shows audiences they’re valued and their voices matter.

Behind-the-Scenes Access: Live sessions can offer a peek behind the curtain, allowing listeners to connect with the creators on a more human level. This transparency can strengthen listener loyalty and build a dedicated fan base.

While exciting, live sessions introduce new technical considerations. Ensuring smooth audio quality, managing audience participation, and having a reliable streaming platform are crucial.

If you have enough equipment and can plan, manage your live sessions, consider trying this format. 

Live Interaction

3. Podcast Listeners

Age – Growth in Younger Listeners

Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) is emerging as the fastest-growing listener group. This shift in audience preference means content and formats may need to adapt to cater to their interests and shorter attention spans.

Gender

The gap between male and female listeners is narrowing. Women are increasingly consuming podcasts across a wide range of genres, creating demand for more content that reflects their experiences and interests.

In the United States, for example, men make up the majority of podcast consumers with 56% listenership, compared to 44% for women. This trend holds true for other developed nations like the UK (53% male, 47% female) and Australia (56% male, 44% female).

Habits

Understanding these habits is crucial for content creators, advertisers, and platforms seeking to optimize their offerings and reach their target audiences effectively.

  • Multitasking Masters: 60% of podcast listeners listen to podcasts while they’re doing something else like commuting, exercising, or doing chores. This highlights the importance of mobile-friendly content and on-the-go listening experiences.
  • Shorter Attention Spans: The popularity of shorter episode lengths (20-40 minutes) reflects the tendency of listeners to multitask and the rise of micro-podcasts catering to time-crunched schedules.
  • Demand for On-Demand Content: Listeners expect flexibility and control over their listening experience. Subscription services and on-demand platforms catering to podcast consumption are gaining traction.
  • Community and Engagement: Listeners crave a sense of connection beyond just consuming content. Interactive elements like live podcasts, Q&A sessions, and online communities are becoming increasingly important for building loyalty and engagement.

Country

According to Backlinko Statistics, The US and Sweden are the top two countries that have the most podcast listeners. Perhaps factors like long commute times, strong mobile internet penetration, or a preference for on-demand audio entertainment contribute to this trend.

Podcast Listeners

4. Podcast Advertising

Podcast Ads is one of the most effective ways for podcast monetizing. The podcast advertising market is experiencing a golden age, fueled by surging listener numbers and a growing appreciation from marketers. Here’s a closer look at the key takeaways:

  • Marketers on Board: Podcast advertising spend by marketers has doubled from 2019 to 2023, showcasing a clear vote of confidence in this medium.
  • Growing Budget Share: While podcast advertising currently represents a modest 3.7% of marketing budgets, this figure is steadily increasing, reflecting its growing importance.
  • Lucrative for Brands and Creators: This investment is proving profitable, with the podcasting industry surpassing $1 billion in annual ad revenue, creating a win-win situation for both brands and podcast creators.

Podcast listeners are becoming increasingly receptive to ads compared to the past.  

  • First, people actually listen to them! Unlike commercials on TV where viewers might be flipping channels, podcast listeners are usually pretty engaged.
  • Second, podcast hosts are like friends you trust. If they recommend something, you’re more likely to listen. 
  • Finally, podcast ads can be cleverly weaved into the show, so they don’t feel like annoying interruptions. 

It’s important to remember that while listeners might be more open to ads, they still value a positive listening experience. To avoid disruption, brands should ensure their advertised product aligns with the podcast’s content and audience. If you want to make money from podcasts, start building podcast advertising networks.

Podcast Advertising

5. AI Integration 

Brainstorming

Most content creators leverage the power of AI. They can collect and summarize data quickly, and provide ideas and even insights for podcast content, for example: 

  • Topic Generation
  • Audience Insight
  • Episode Plan
  • Trend Analysis

AI brainstorming is revolutionizing the way podcasters plan and generate ideas for podcast episodes.

Editing

AI Podcast Editing in editing refers to the use of artificial intelligence-powered tools and algorithms to automate and enhance various aspects of the podcast editing process: 

  • Automatic Transcription
  • Remove Filler words, background noise, silence
  • Speech-to-Text Analysis
  • Voice Cloning

One editing tool that I highly recommend for my audience is Descript. It offers a wide range of features, including recording, editing and especially AI Descript.

Editing is so frustrating, I know because I struggled at the beginning, too. Therefore, if you’re looking for help with Editing, contact me for my services. Seven Million Bikes can help save a lot of time, from recording, editing to publishing, just leave these burdens for us and focus on your content creation. 

AI Podcasting

Latest Podcast Trend – Conclusion

Keeping pace with trends isn’t just about chasing fads. It’s about creating a podcast that resonates with a modern audience, maximizes listener engagement, and stands out from the ever-growing crowd. So, let’s keep learning, keep innovating, and keep those downloads climbing!

If you have any difficulties on your podcasting path, I offer a FREE Consultation, contact NOW.