Podcasts are on the rise and large platforms, such as Spotify, are placing serious bets on the formats continued growth. Today, there are 1 billion listeners across numerous platforms and this is growing at a rate of 25% to 30% per annum. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) industry profits are expect to top USD 1 billion in 2021 growing to USD 3 billion in 2025.
Latin America’s consumption of podcasts is also booming. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this growth, but the trend was already there prior to the pandemic with growth from 2018 to 2019 being 32%. “Podcasts have been successful during the pandemic because they are entertaining and a source of learning,” highlighted the Head of North and Central America for Deezer, “People are listening to them twice as long compared to the beginning of March, going from 20 minutes before to 40 minutes now.”
The Head of Studios LATAM & US LatinX at Spotify explained the importance of Latin America to their business, “Spotify offers music and podcasts to 300 million users in 92 markets, 22% of those users are in Latin America.”
“Spotify offers music and podcasts to 300 million users in 92 markets, 22% of those users are in Latin America.”
Head of Studios LATAM & US LatinX at Spotify
The podcast industry in Mexico is growing rapidly, there are 22 million active listeners per month, equating to 3 out of every 10 internet users in Mexico. The CEO of Acast, the largest global podcast company, explained, “Mexico is a large and important market, which is why we chose it for our regional distribution hub for the distribution to all Spanish-speaking countries. With 180 million listeners globally and more than 10,000 podcasts, we are targeting an aggressive expansion in Mexico.”
The personalisation of content is one of the major attractions for listeners and creates opportunity but this is expensive to produce. Therefore, many podcasts have moved towards producing content for brands or even having fully branded podcasts. An executive from one podcast platform explains, “Creators are monetising their content in different ways, some are sponsored or have paid advertising, other are being employed by major brands.”
“Creators are monetising their content in different ways, some are sponsored or have paid advertising, other are being employed by major brands.”
Executive, podcast platform operating in Latin America
As the industry grows, this trend towards business and partnerships is expected to grow too as corporates use audio as a communication tool. For example, the football club Inter Milan has launched its own podcast and hired a team to host it and McDonald’s even used the medium as a communication platform to issue an apology to its customers.