The podcast launch window may be wide open today, but it will begin to close down during the next few years. That’s according to Molly Beck, CEO of Messy.fm, one of a growing number of all-in-one services that are designed to help would-be producers launch their show. Beck thinks podcasting has a lot in common with the blogging revolution, only it is moving a lot faster. “If you start your podcast three years from now, it’ll be way too late,” she writes in a blog post for Quartz.
Beck launched her Smart, Pretty & Awkward blog in 2008 and it grew to seven million visitors. She thinks if it started today it wouldn’t have any. “It all comes down to timing,” Beck says. “In 2008, there were lots of blog readers—but few blog creators. Success was waiting for us early creators not because we were all necessarily so great, but because there were so few of us.”
Podcasters may worry about discovery being a bigger problem with 750,000 podcasts now listed in Apple Podcasts. But Beck says Edison Research data showing 144 million have listened to a podcast reveals there’s an “abundant audience” looking for the next show to fall in love with. “Today, no one’s blog about cooking is leading to an A-list celeb endorsement, of course. But their podcast is,” she said. “Podcasting today is analogous to blogging, that moment before it blew up.”
Beck also said that unlike blogging, where many have said success is contingent on the writer’s level of attractiveness, podcasting is more about a good story and great ideas. “If you have an interesting point of view or story, you can stick out,” she tells those on the fence. “Podcasts intellectualize content creators in a way that visual platforms do not because they’re inherently skewed toward people that conform to society’s idea of what looks good.”
As Podcast News Daily reported earlier this month, the industry is on track to create arecord number of new shows in 2019 while the number of “dead” podcasts is tracking behind last year. That’s according to the podcast search engine Listen Notes, which reported between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 a total of 192,674 new podcasts launched. That represents nearly one in four podcasts. That puts this year on track to deliver more than 10% more new podcasts than a year ago.