2021 Mid-Year Podcast Report

Will we still be talking about these events in six months?

The first six months of 2021 has been eventful. So eventful in fact that we need to discuss three industry-wide events that have already had a significant impact in the world of podcasting. We just can’t wait another six months for a massive end-of-year review. These three events are:

  1. Podcasting continues to grow.
  2. Money continues to flow into podcasting.
  3. Podcast giants can stumble.

Each of these need a closer look.

Podcasting continues to grow.

This time last year there were concerns about how the pandemic was affecting podcasting. We now have enough information to assess podcasting’s growth. In March 2021, Edison Research released the Infinite Dial Report. The report shared that the number of podcasts as well as the number of podcast listeners increased throughout 2020, and that trend looks to be continuing through the first half of 2021.

Podcasting continues to grow!

Three significant events in the world of podcasting took place in early 2021. Did we miss any major events that you think have impacted the podcast industry this year so far? Please visit the Blubrry Podcasting Group on Facebook and share what you think we’ll be talking about when we turn our calendars to 2022.

Money continues to flow into podcasting.

Major acquisitions of podcasts and podcast networks have happened in 2021. Major deals as in tens of millions of dollars. These large companies are willing to pay big money for podcasts and podcast networks that have huge followings. While these deals do make the news and are exciting, they usually do not impact the podcasters that have shows with download numbers in the lower 99.98 percentile of podcasts.

However, more money flows into podcaster’s pockets through listener-supported platforms such as Patreon, Glow, Podia and even PayPal. With so many podcasters having so many supporters, you can make it easy for your listeners to financially support you. If you have ever thought about incorporating listener support into your podcasting efforts, think about doing it in the next six months!
Podcast giants can stumble.

Apple has been a major player in podcasting ever since they embraced podcasts back in June 2005. Its directories, apps and standards have helped shape the podcast industry. In late Spring 2021, Apple changed a few things about how their environment handled podcasts. First, they changed the name of what we traditionally knew as a podcast subscription to ‘Following a podcast.’ Then they introduced that ‘Subscribing’ to a podcast now means that you support the podcast financially. What is unfortunate is that coincidentally around the same time Apple had issues with their directory and podcasts app and for a few days it seemed like a total meltdown.

After a few days Apple’s technical headaches were resolved and the new and old features were working as expected. Unfortunately, the hiccups and their duration may have shaken the public’s confidence in the podcasting giant. By the end of 2021, all of these issues might be a distant memory, but here in July, it does show that podcast giants can stumble.


Troy Price

Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studio in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Listen to his show Podcasting Tips from the Front Porch here.

Contact Troy by email at troy@frontporchstudios.com.