AI will be bad for podcasting, say 40% of podcasters

Survey also suggests strong appetite for subscriptions and live events

A large number of podcasters are nervous about the potential impact of artificial intelligence on podcast production, according to a new survey, with more than 40% saying they foresee a significant negative impact from the technology.

The survey, put together by podcast production company Stripped Media, asked 123 podcasters about their attitudes to several elements of podcast creation, consumption and monetisation. While 21% predicted AI and machine learning would have a positive impact, and 38% said it would be neutral, just over 40% reported apprehension around its potential growth.

As AI technology becomes more mature and is adopted by more organisations, concerns about its deployment have also become more widespread. These commonly include the potential for voice cloning technology to result in lost work for talent, as well as greater automation leading to reduced production needs.

The growth of video has been another contentious topic within podcasting, and on this issue, respondents to the survey had similarly mixed opinions - 39% said it was important to integrate video into podcasts, while 33% said it wasn’t important, with the remaining 28% taking a neutral view. 

"The rise of video within the podcasting landscape presents exciting growth opportunities for those who can harness its power,” said Stripped Media co-founder Kobi Omenaka. “It's worth noting that there are now multiple podcast platforms, including YouTube, coexisting and thriving side by side, showcasing the dynamic nature of this ever-evolving medium."

The report also stated that just under 80% of podcasters saw cross-promotion with other podcasts - often conducted through guesting opportunities or trailer swaps - as the biggest potential vector for podcast growth, followed by social media promotion at just under 50%. 

In terms of monetisation, premium content and subscriptions were the most popular avenues, at 56% and 43% respectively, while 67% expressed a desire to host or attend live podcasting events. 

Spotify was the most popular listening platform among podcasters, narrowly beating out Apple Podcasts by 51% to 40%, and more than 50% reported that they listen to podcasts on a daily basis.

"The results of our 2024 Podcasting Trends Report are truly fascinating,” Omenaka said. “It's evident that 2024 is set to be an exhilarating year for those seeking to create podcasts for brand awareness, as well as for those looking to monetise and grow their shows."