Podcasting becoming more than just a passion project is ‘no bad thing’, says former Podfront MD

Podcast Show advisory panel speaks about the advantages of consolidation in the industry

Podcast market consolidation should not be considered a disadvantage to the industry according to the former managing director of podcast platform Podfront Ruth Fitzsimons, arguing that more money coming in will lead to better content. 

Speaking during a panel discussion at The Podcast Show Preview Night as part of the event’s Industry Advisory Panel, Fitzsimons noted that industry consolidation has already happened in the US, with a number of acquisitions from big companies such as Spotify. She predicted that the same will start to happen in the UK, with production companies under pressure to demonstrate continued profitability and success. 

“It’s realism as well…[Podcasting] is a business and that’s not a bad thing, it’s not a bad thing for it to longer be a passion project,” said Fitzsimons. “It’s definitely about the content, at the end of the day you need other parts of the business.”

The industry Advisory Panel also included other leading audio experts such as Bernard P. Achampong, founder of media production company Unedited, Christina Moore, founding member of The Podcast Academy, and Donald Albright, president and co-founder of Tenderfoot TV, as well as representatives from Audacy, Acast, Amazon Music, and UTA.

Achampong also added that big money coming in could be considered a good thing, allowing companies to be more creative with podcasts thanks to increased resources. 

“The UK has been super-served by the BBC for a long time, so I think it’s taken away how we can be creative from the money side,” said Achampong. 

The podcast advertising market has faced challenges in the past year due to economic conditions, which has led to a number of podcast companies such as Acast and Spotify to reduce their budget and look at cutting costs. Podimo Global content and partnerships head Jake Chudnow also highlighted in the most recent episode of PodPod that this has led companies such as Podimo from international markets to be more hesitant with investing.

One way that podcast companies and creators can ensure that they have a stable revenue stream, as highlighted by Albright, is to look at subscription strategies, which would be not affected by global market conditions. 

“If you have a direct line to your consumer, then you have a lifeline whether you’re in bad economic times or not,” said Albright. “Companies need to be looking at that to diversify their revenue streams.”