“Advertisers need to be more invested in podcasts,” says Podimo global content and partnerships lead

Jake Chudnow on what the UK podcast industry can do to stop market slowdown

Advertisers and brands need to be investing more of their money into podcasts despite the decline in the economy, according to Podimo global content and partnerships lead Jake Chudnow. 

Podimo, the podcast and audiobook platform and subscription service headquartered in Denmark, announced its launch in the UK earlier this year in February. Although the subscription service is not yet available in the UK, Podimo announced that it will be backing over 20 new podcasts in partnership with a number of production companies that are available on all platforms. 

According to Chudnow during an interview with PodPod on the latest episode of the podcast, the UK advertising market has invested a lot less into podcasting compared to the US and Europe, which has led to the rate of podcast growth to slow down despite the industry continuing to grow. 

“I think because the rate of growth is slowing, it's causing companies like Podimo to be appropriately cautious in the money that they're spending,” said Chudnow. “When there's less money to be spent it affects rate of production, especially in the UK, where I would suggest it's had a historically much more of a commissioner, producer relationship in terms of how shows get made than in some other markets, where there are a lot more independent creators who are starting their shows as a passion project, and will do it whether or not there's money in it.” 

Chudnow also highlighted that the reason podcast advertising in the UK has been slower than in other markets is due to the fact that listening “historically” tends to happen on platforms or networks that don’t have ads, such as the BBC, which is a publicly funded broadcasting service. However, this could also be an advantage as it provides an opportunity for diversification in revenue streams such as subscription services like the one Podimo has to offer. 

“A market that struggles with ad rates is actually an opportunity for Podimo and subscription in general,” said Chudnow. “I think that's where we've seen our greatest successes – where there's been less investment from advertisers and from platforms is where there's the greatest need for a subscription. I think that's actually why the UK is an interesting market, compared to the US.” 

In addition to subscription services, Chudnow spoke about how Podimo has started to translate podcasts such as Murder in the North and Cold Blood: Nordic True Crime into other languages in order to expand its audience into other countries. However, Chudnow also did emphasise that not all podcasts are translatable and that it usually only works if the format has scripting at its core, and interviewing as a secondary aspect. 

“Ninety to 96% of our listeners, depending on the market, are listening to shows in their own native tongue. So even if the listeners in Denmark with the ability to speak English are high, there's a clear preference for listening in the local language,” said Chudnow. “Especially if that creator is from a market that maybe has a much smaller population of people who speak that language, it is a great opportunity for them to find a larger audience outside of their country. We've translated a podcast that was originally born in Finland, and have been able to create a greater audience and revenue stream for that podcaster by translating in just a few more markets on Podimo than she was able to find in Finland alone.” 

Podimo’s launch for its subscription service has been pushed back to a later date due to the economic circumstances, but the company will continue launching the shows it has announced in partnership with a number of other production companies. This includes multi-year partnerships with podcast production company Listen for five weekly series, five new shows with ‘slow news’ publisher Tortoise Media, and five weekly series with production company What’s The Story? Sounds as well as one-off partnerships with MagsCreative, TellTale Industries and Vespucci.