When everything started
Let’s go back a bit in time. 2006 was the year where Apple introduced “officially” podcasts on iTunes. Fun fact – the word podcast comes from the merging of the word iPod and broadcasting hence podcasting. But only recently we are recognising the hype around podcast. Why is that?
Well, the reasons are not really lying on the surface but it looks like people are fed up to consume media purely through a screen. Looking at an average person, the day usually starts with scrolling through a social media platform continued by starring at a monitor during work and then closing the day by watching some Youtube videos or Netflix.
Listening to a podcast feels now just like a redemption. Not only for the consumer podcasts are interesting.
New medium for content creators
Content creator from Youtube, blogs, Instagram (you name it) are now able to reach users in a very intimate way. It is proven that the attention span of a user who listens to a podcast is much higher than a user who watches a Youtube video. Youtuber can uniformly agree that videos are rarely watched until the end. Also public statistics underline this fact. Users are often provided with other recommended videos and hence as soon as the attention drifts they will jump to the next video. This can be especially seen, when YouTuber allow advertisement, which is essential for their monetization of their content.
On the other hand a podcast listener is loyal to what he or she listens to. Often an hour long podcast is listened until the end. Not even advertisement will lead them to switch to the next podcast. The reasons are clear. Podcast listener tend to start the podcast and then put their phone in their pocket or somewhere else but usually do not browse through the phone (as they of course want to put their attention on the podcast). Hence, they are not distracted by other content as opposed to Youtube, Instagram and essentially any other platform which is relying on a screen.
This hence becomes very interesting for the content creator. They can engage on a more emotional level with the users and build a deeper relationship with them. This and many other reasons are fueling now the podcast hype.
The podcast landscape
Looking at the current podcasting landscape, it becomes evident that it is clearly very fragmented. Looking at the value chain there are multiple markets and players
- The podcast media houses, which create professional podcasts
- The “amateur” content creators which are self-taught podcaster
- There are the podcast hosts, which provide a server where podcasts can be stored and distributed
- There are podcast streaming platforms which directly fetch podcasts from those server
- There are podcast equipment companies which provide the according hardware and software
And there are hundreds of thousands of newbies who want to get started with podcasting and share with the world what they have to say but quickly give up when looking at the value chain.
The real struggles when starting with podcasting
Someone who wants to become a podcaster needs to answer these questions:
- What equipment do I need to record? (and why do I need those big headphones?? )
- What audio editing software do I need to edit my audio?
- Where shall I host my podcast?
- What is an RSS feed?
- Where shall I publish?
- How do I interact with my listeners?
We are not blaming anyone who gives up when facing these questions.
Connectivity and interaction is key
Especially because of the last question “How do I interact with my listeners” we should talk a bit more about the content creator. What is essential for a content creator for example on Youtube or Instagram? They are highly relying on connecting and interacting with their user base. It provides them a sense of purpose when they can read and see that they added value to someone even if it is to only one person. Also through the interaction they are able to understand what their followers want to see and hear next. Last but not least it also provides them the dopamine rush and motivation to continue their endeavours.
Looking at the current landscape there there are many podcast streaming platforms such as Spotify, Player FM and PocketCast. On those platforms a content creator will not find a lot of value. They will mostly see the number of listenings/downloads but that certainly does not help them to tailor the content for the listeners and does not bring necessarily the dopamine rush which gives them the drive. Often podcaster go to podcast feedback groups which can be found on Facebook or they try to get feedback through their primary channels (Instagram, Youtube, etc.). Bottom line is – when we look at the existing podcast platforms we are looking at podcast streaming platforms. Additionally, there are almost no apps which make podcast creation easy and seamless.
A new platform could bring the creator and listener closer together
Podstellar is a social podcasting platform and the founders position themselves as a social media platform and not a podcast streaming platform. They are integrating the major social media components known from Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and TikTok into Podstellar and hence enable maximum interactivity and fun between creator and listener. This allows the creators to receive feedback and inputs from the listeners and enables the listeners to share their opinion with the community and ultimately enable a fruitful discussion.
With the sophisticated record and editing functionality which is placed at the core of the app, Podstellar enables everyone to share with the world what they have to say. In fact, the user does not have to care about the sound quality. Audio can be recorded by just using the apple earpods or any other headphones and the audio post-processing algorithms will make sure that the sound is crisp and clean.
Podstellar clearly wants to break the status quo that podcasts must always be a dialogue about hard to digest topics which sometimes are over an hour. Creators can also just record a couple of minutes where they e.g. talk about the most amazing surfing spots they have visited.
Additionally, Podstellar users can browse through millions of podcasts. The discovery page uses machine learning to recommend each user new and trending podcasts from around the globe. The goal is clear – Podstellar wants to enable everyone to entertain, inform and educate themselves with auditive content and their vision “listen to see the world” fits just perfectly with their platform.
Podstellar will be available for iOS in March 2020. The Android launch will follow shortly after.
Stay tuned and follow Podstellar