Maybe you haven’t heard. Actually, you probably have — heard a podcast, I mean. Edison Research estimates that 51% of Americans have listened to a podcast before, and roughly 22% of the population listens weekly. Podcasting’s on-demand content focused on specific interests represents a new level of personalization, uniquely suited for the 21st century. And yet, for all for all the talk that podcasting ? is ? audio’s ? future ? monetization in the space remains well below other media.
You can’t sell what you can’t see though, and the truth is that podcasting is a new media wilderness. Everyone is stumbling around blind. Listeners struggle to find new content that fits with their interests. Hosts, who want nothing more than to engage with their fans, can’t tell what resonates based on the download numbers they get from Apple. In order to share their knowledge with the world, guests have to turn to boutique booking agents who overcharge for putting them in touch with a small subset of hosts.
Nicolas Quah, the creator of Hot Pod, recently told the New York Times, “Because there is no comment section for podcasts, when you consume one it’s an isolated digital experience…there’s this feeling that comes with podcasts, where often times you feel like you’re part of a community that you’re not physically part of. You want to find other people in this nation that doesn’t physically exist.” Podcasting needs a map of those connections.
We’re proud to announce High Alpha’s investment in Podchaser, an independent credit registry and an amazing source for daily discovery and discussion in podcasting. Together with Hyde Park Venture Partners, we’re leading a $1.65M Seed round to supercharge the company’s mission of mapping the podcasting nation. Due to its database of credits, Podchaser is the ideal place for listeners to search for content, rate episodes, and engage with their favorite podcasting personalities. Hosts and guests can connect to generate new content that fits with both of their brands. All because they can finally see who’s out there.
Our investment in Podchaser reflects not only our belief that podcasting is a medium well suited to the 21st century, but also our belief in Bradley, Cole, Ben, Ryan, and the whole team at Podchaser. They’ve nurtured the spark of an idea on Reddit into a community of thousands, dedicated to finding and elevating the best podcasts.
Increased visibility often leads to monetization, and in this regard, Podchaser’s map is not the only one. Earlier this year, Spotify announced the creation of Streaming Ad Insertion on their exclusive podcasts. We’re excited for that development, as it raises the profile of podcasting as a whole. Dynamic ads, however, often work best for large, generalized audiences, a description that doesn’t apply to most podcasts at this time.
Different maps are good for different things. Podchaser’s will help podcasters build their audience from hundreds to thousands, and beyond. It allows listeners an exceptional level of control in their search for new podcasts and new friends. It may also enable monetization possibilities such as affiliate sales and events that podcasters are still in the early stages of exploring. The future of podcasting is still materializing, as are the methods by which it will be ultimately made sustainable. Podchaser is here to help build that future. You should join them.