The average podcaster is covering three roles at once, according to the latest State of Podcasting survey from media relations platform Muck Rack.
The roles podcasters most commonly said they are responsible for include promotion and marketing, which 45% of podcasters said they manage, hosting (43%), and booking guests (39%). Other roles mentioned included executive production, audio engineering, and more.
However, while over half of podcasters work on two or more podcasts, the number working on three or more shows fell by 12%. Part-time podcasters now make up a larger proportion of the industry at 69%, 5% up from last year. The number of full-time podcasters also suffered a corresponding 6% drop, but enjoyment and passion were named the top goal for podcasting with 29% listing it as their primary motivation, while revenue is a close second at 27%.
Almost 600 (primarily US-based) podcasters were surveyed in September 2022 as part of the report, which covers the roles and responsibilities of podcasters, as well as areas such as podcast content development, monetisation, publishing, pitching, listener demographics, and what the future of podcasting is expected to look like.
“This fascinating survey demonstrates how audio production involves a lot of multitasking, especially at the beginning, as many shows need a lot of work to build an audience and monetise sufficiently,” a spokesperson from AudioUK said. “We have recognised that this can seem daunting, so our Audiotrain scheme provides training not just in production techniques, but in business organisation.
“Our members can also access up-to-date HR and contract templates to make hiring people easier, while our business affairs service can enable producers to strike better deals with those commissioning them. We also work with the major platforms to bring them more into contact with more producers. All of this can hopefully enable podcasters to take their business to the next level and focus on the creative side of their work, which as the survey shows is still what is paramount to them.”
The survey also revealed changing trends in terms of podcast content and monetisation. 45% of respondents said their podcasts have 10,000 listeners or fewer, while a third have less than 5,000. Appropriately, podcasters are increasingly exploring other avenues of monetisation beyond traditional advertising; podcasters using paid subscriptions rose 12% compared to last year, premium content experienced a 17% increase, and 22% more podcasters charged guests to appear on shows.
67% of podcasters also record their podcast in video, and most post clips across at least three channels, with Facebook, Instagram and first-party web domains being the most popular. 70% also use social media as the primary way of promoting their show.
“Podcasts continue to serve as a core component to any earned media strategy, particularly for reaching niche audiences," co-founder and CEO of Muck Rack Greg Galant said in a statement. “Our survey showcases that while podcasters feel podcasts will be even more popular in the future, there is a consensus that there are too many of them.
“Over the next few years, we’ll be watching closely to see how the medium matures, and how podcast publishers consider monetisation as the space becomes more and more crowded.”