72% of publishers plan to invest more in podcasting this year

Podcasts said to play a part in building deeper audience connection and brand loyalty

Over 70% of news leaders say that they will be putting more resources into podcasts and digital audio as part of their publication’s strategy in 2023, according to a new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

As part of the annual Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2023 report, Reuter’s Senior Research Associate Nic Newman analysed data from a closed survey which polled 303 news leaders from 53 countries between November and December 2022. 

The report concluded that podcasting, digital audio, and email newsletters are key areas of investment for publishing companies, as they act as effective mediums for increasing brand loyalty. This contrasts with rising costs and slowdowns in subscription revenue, which rank among publishers’ top concerns.

"Both podcasts and email newsletters which are often hosted by real people and have connections with smaller audiences, but much deeper connections are an absolutely critical part of everybody's strategy," said Newman in an episode of Press Gazette’s Future of Media Explained podcast.

Product extensions are also an important part of this year’s publishing media strategies, which the report states are an alternative approach to “locking in subscribers” through complementary premium brands. 15% of the survey respondents said that related business to their publication are considered an important or very important digital revenue stream for their company. 

A podcast-extension example that the report references is New York Times Audio, a new application focused on audio journalism and storytelling which the publication is planning to launch early this year. An invite-only beta version of the application is currently running and available to apply for on its website. 

‘Slow news’ organisation Tortoise Media has also shifted its focus as it expanded its portfolio of podcasts in the past year. Its most recent project highlights insights from the Westminster Accounts, an interactive database commissioned by Sky News investigating how money flows within the UK Parliament.