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The in-car infotainment experience is in the midst of a tidal shift, says a new report from Strategy Analytics. According to the 2019 “In-Car Audio and Radio Report,” “The big news in 2019 in the in-car audio space is the ascendance of podcasting, as both established players in streaming and broadcasting, as well as smaller startups compete for a piece of the growing market.”

Under the banner headline “Podcasting Dominates As Incumbents, Startups Crowd Space,” the report stresses that as the growing ubiquity of podcasts “becomes an exciting new opportunity for advertisers and content producers, disruption in the in-car audio space is happening at a pace few expected,” per Edward Sanchez, Senior Analyst, Automotive for Strategy Analytics. The research firm credits at least part of the podcasting revolution to “streaming giant Spotify picking up smaller players in the podcasting space. As a result: “Podcasts are all the buzz.”

Asked for a big picture analysis of the podcasting pantheon, in an exclusive interview, Sanchez tells Podcast News Daily, “The big theme for podcasts and podcasters is ‘discoverability.’ If you can’t get discovered, it’s just a hobby.” He advises those looking to create a podcast outside the realm of professional broadcasting portals or established content providers that “some startups in the podcasting space are playing fast-and-loose with syndicated content, removing ad links and blocking tracking. Those are critical components to maintaining a sustainable, profitable podcast. Don’t be taken advantage of.” In addition, “Make sure you do due diligence on the terms of any partnerships you enter into, as well as what third-party syndication platforms and outlets are doing with your content.”

Sanchez also advises (shameless plug): “There are a number of blogs and outlets that specifically cover the podcasting space, including Inside Radio’s excellent Podcast News Daily. Stay informed.”

The Strategy Analytics exec further explains that creating a podcast within the radio world often “just means re-packaging broadcast shows.” While this is all well and good, “Take a methodical approach. Not all shows or formats lend themselves naturally to podcasting, and the podcasting audience is different than your typical radio listener. Actively seek out experts in emerging content models and businesses to see if there’s an opportunity you can take advantage of.” 

Looking at the essence of the Strategy Analytics report—which insists that newer platforms such as streaming—and yes, podcasting—are threatening AM/FM’s dominance in the car, Sanchez tells Podcast News Daily that the on-demand platform thus far continues to “make the most sense in a ‘solo driver’ scenario, or for commuter passengers with earbuds in. Listeners also seem to have a closer relationship with podcasts due to the nature of the content being more focused and niche.”

He adds that these variables present podcasting with “great potential for hyper-focused advertising. Positioned and packaged strategically, focused advertising can complement podcast content, and actually increase credibility among listeners. The car remains an optimal stage for podcasts.”