15 Must-Watch Podcasting Trends For Content Creators (2024)

By Jeff Cobb.  Last Updated on February 16, 2024

Podcast demand is at an all-time high, with the number of podcast listeners worldwide projected to surpass 500 million by the end of 2024, according to a recent statistic from Demand Sage.

But whether you’re an experienced podcaster or looking to start your first podcast, you must understand the dynamics of modern podcasting.

Podcasts are different from what they used to be a few years ago.

In fact, things are changing so fast, thanks to AI and technology advancements, that you must stay on top of the latest podcasting trends to stay competitive and retain listeners.

On the plus side, evolving your podcast game helps you take early movers advantage and allows you to provide more value to your listeners.

So, what are the hottest podcasting trends you should follow as a content creator? Let’s find out.

We’re not talking about temporary or seasonal interests. Instead, the podcasting trends we’re about to discuss reflect the changing audience preferences and content consumption habits.

So, you must carefully analyze each trend from this list and consider its impact on your audience.

Podcast Trend #1: YouTube Is An Emerging Podcast Battleground

YouTube is the world’s most popular video streaming platform and the second-largest search engine. But it’s also fast becoming a leading podcast platform.

Voices, a marketplace for voice-over artists, surveyed 1000+ podcast listeners in the US and found that 57.8% preferred YouTube for listening to podcasts.

Chart of Preferred Platform for podcast and percentage of ads on each platform
57.8% YouTube 44.9% ads
53.6% Spotify 21.1% ads

Down to 
21.9% TuneInRadio 31.9% ads

This isn’t surprising because the demand for video podcasts has been steadily rising over the last few years. Morning Consult, a market research company, recently published a survey that says 46% of podcast listeners prefer podcasts with videos.

A quick YouTube search for podcasts on any topic will show you dozens of video podcasts.

How do you benefit from this rising podcast trend?

By investing in video recording equipment, starting a YouTube channel, and publishing a video version of your podcasts.

This not only helps you reach a wider audience but also opens up numerous content repurposing opportunities.

Podcast Trend #2: Podcast Repurposing Is On The Rise

Content creation is hard work.

So, when you create high-quality content, you must get the most value out of it for your business.

This is where content repurposing comes in.

Repurposing means transforming your content into different formats and using it on multiple platforms to maximize its reach.

For example, most people don’t have the time or attention span to watch a 60-minute video podcast. But if you turn the most important parts of your video podcast into 1-2 minute short clips for Instagram, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, and TikTok, you can instantly reach millions of viewers with the same content.

Plus, once you hook a viewer with a short video, they’re likelier to watch the full podcast.

That’s precisely what successful podcasters do.

For example, Jay Shetty has over 1.2 million subscribers to his YouTube Podcast channel. In addition, his show is among the top podcasts on Apple and Google Podcasts.

Most of his podcasts are 60-90 minutes long. So, he creates 8-10 short clips from every show to get a higher ROI from his content.

And that’s just one way to repurpose your content.

You can also turn your audio and video podcasts into:

  • Blog posts
  • Twitter threads
  • Facebook and Instagram posts
  • Books

In short, you can repurpose every podcast show episode into multiple content types and get significantly more value from it.

Podcast Trend #3: Women Podcast Listeners Are Growing Fast

Over the years, podcasts have traditionally been more popular among men than women.

But that’s changing fast.

According to Nielsen, female podcast listeners have increased by 76% since 2018, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

Graph of Women and Men who watch podcasts from 2019-2022
40% of women in 2022

This is why podcasts like What Fresh Hell, dedicated to women’s issues, are gaining popularity.

How do you take advantage of this trend?

  • Cover related topics relevant to your niche.
  • Create more inclusive content.
  • Interview more experts in your niche.
  • Tap into related niches to launch new podcasts.

Podcast Trend #4: Listeners Want Shorter Podcasts

What’s the ideal podcast length to retain audience interest? This has been a hot discussion topic in the podcast industry.

But there’s no definite answer because the right podcast length depends on your topic, podcast category, and relationship with your audience.

Dan Misener, the co-founder of Bumper, analyzed over 19 million podcast episodes between 2005 and 2019. He found that the average podcast length peaked around 2014 at 46 minutes. But it gradually decreased to just over 35 minutes in 2019.

Graph showing monthly average episode length

A recent BuzzSprout study has similar findings. It shows that 64% of all podcast episodes on BuzzSprout are under 40 minutes.

This clearly shows that both creators and listeners prefer shorter podcasts. And it makes complete sense because our attention spans are at an all-time low, and micro-content platforms like TikTok are booming worldwide.

But there are exceptions, of course. For example, you will find many successful podcasters who regularly publish two-hour-long episodes.

But generally, shorter is better unless your podcast analytics show otherwise.

Podcast Trend #5: Audio Quality Is Critical For Engagement

Most podcasts are audio-only.

And, unlike videos, audio podcasts do not have multiple connection points with their listeners.

So, if you want your listeners to stay engaged with your content, you must ensure the highest possible audio quality in your podcast. Your voice should be audible and free of any background noise or loud music that can distract your listeners.

But apart from listener engagement, your audio quality also directly impacts your brand image. A research study by the Australian National University found that listeners think negatively about content creators who publish low-quality audio content.

The audio quality is still critical, even when you’re doing video podcasts. A study by Texas Tech University found that audio quality directly impacts a listener’s ability to retain information.

So, how do you improve your podcast’s audio quality?

By investing in the right audio equipment for your podcast. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, either. There are plenty of affordable options you can try.

Podcast Trend #6: Podcast SEO Is More Important Than Ever

There are nearly 10 million podcasts on the world’s top three podcasting platforms: Spotify, Apple, and Google.

So, no matter your topic, you must optimize your podcast to rank higher in the search results of the top podcasting platforms to stand out and gain listeners.

In addition, you must also look to rank your podcast in Google Search since it’s the internet’s biggest traffic source.

Here are a few tips for podcast platform SEO:

  • Choose the right podcast category for your show.
  • Describe your show in detail.
  • Use descriptive titles for every podcast episode.
  • Describe the crux of every podcast episode in detail.

Do this on every platform where you publish your podcast.

In addition, create a dedicated podcast website or a podcast section on your existing site and use it to optimize your podcast for Google Search results.

Creating a dedicated podcast website helps you drive SEO traffic and reduces your reliance on third-party platforms by allowing you to build your email list.

Podcast Trend #7: AI Is Dramatically Changing The Podcast Industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t new to most of us, and we’ve used it in various forms over the years. But the emergence of ChatGPT and the hundreds of tools powered by its API has drastically changed the creator economy landscape.

With AI at your fingertips, you can now automate numerous tasks that used to cost hundreds of dollars and took weeks to perform. Plus, you can gain valuable insights to tailor your podcast content to your audience’s needs.

So, if you haven’t jumped on the AI bandwagon yet, now’s the time.

But how can AI tools help your podcasts grow? Here are a few examples.

  • Use AI to develop new and engaging podcast ideas for your audience.
  • Use AI to quickly generate the first drafts of your podcast script, saving you hours.
  • Create eye-catching thumbnails and art for your channels.
  • Get AI’s feedback on your podcast script and structure.
  • Create social media posts to promote your podcast.

Many creators are even using AI voice generators to create fully automated podcasts. Although most AI voice generators don’t sound as natural as I’d want, they can still be an excellent fallback option for your channel if you want to experiment with a new podcast in a different niche without revealing yourself.

Podcast Trend #8: Money Is In The Niche

With so much content being published across platforms, consumers are more attracted to specialists in a specific field than generalists publishing rehashed stuff on every trending topic.

So, if you want to build a loyal following and stand out in a sea of mediocrity, you must specialize in a niche and position yourself as an expert. Be known for your content quality and become the go-to person for everything about your niche. This creates trust and helps you drive more leads for your online course.

Jeff Walker’s podcast is an excellent example.

Jeff is among the most well-known digital product creators and online launch experts. His podcast focuses solely on the different aspects of the creator business model and the challenges of creating and launching successful info products.

TCC Podcast by The Copywriter Club is another excellent example of a niche-focused podcast that covers everything in the copywriting space.

Niching down means you primarily focus on one industry or broad topic area. It shouldn’t be so narrow that you run out of discussion topics. But if it’s too broad and you start discussing everything under the sun, you won’t build a targeted audience. So, focus on one industry and cover everything related to it.

Podcast Trend #9: People Love Entertaining Podcasts

Your podcast can be about business, health, mindset, productivity, or anything else. But if it’s boring, people won’t listen to it for long.

In a recent study involving more than 5000 podcast listeners, Pew Research found that most people tune into podcasts for entertainment.

Why US Adults Listen to Podcasts Chart
75%: For entertainment
To Learn
To have something to listen to while doing something else
To  heaaer other people's opinions
To stay up to date about current events
For encouragement or inspiration

These findings align with a study by Edison Podcast Metrics, which shows Comedy as the top podcast genre in the US.

U.S. Top Podcast Genres, By Reach
1. Comedy
2. News
3. Society and culture
4. true crime
5. sports
6. tv and film
7. education
8. arts
9. Religion and Spirituality
10. Education

So, how do you make your podcasts entertaining if they’re not about movies or comedy skits?

Adding light humor to your podcasts (on any topic) is a great way to keep your listeners hooked to your content and make your discussions more engaging.

If you look at the most successful podcasts in the business niche, the hosts maintain a light discussion theme, crack jokes, laugh, and keep the discussion engaging without making it too serious.

Entrepreneur On Fire is an excellent business podcast that rarely has a dull moment.

Without going overboard with comedy, the show’s host always has an energetic tone, and he keeps the discussions engaging with light humor and exciting stories.

That’s how you make business podcasts entertaining.

Podcast Trend #10: Listeners Want To Learn Something New

The marketing chart you just saw had another interesting finding.

After entertainment, most people listen to podcasts to learn something new. That explains why they’re ready to dedicate 30-40 minutes to a podcast episode.

This is perfect for online course creators and experts booking to strengthen their credibility and brand image.

Because your audience is ready to learn, you must give them what they want and value their time.

So, whenever you’re creating a new podcast episode, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I doing this podcast?
  • What value will the listener get from it?
  • If I had the same goals as my listener, would I spend 30 minutes listening to this podcast and leave happier?
  • Do I teach something actionable in this episode?
  • What will my listeners be able to accomplish after this podcast?
  • What are the questions I’ll address in this podcast?
  • Are my answers comprehensive?
  • Are my answers easily understandable, and use proof and examples to elaborate on the topics?

The more value your content offers, the faster you become your listener’s go-to knowledge source. So, remember that your listeners are there to learn from you. Don’t disappoint them.

Podcast Trend #11: Podcast Live Streaming Is Gaining Popularity

Podcast live streaming is among the hottest trends in this industry, helping podcasters build stronger relationships with their audiences with raw, unedited, and highly engaging content.

According to studies, the live-streaming industry is expected to reach a value of nearly $250 billion by 2027. This includes both audio and video podcasts.

Chart with $247 billion by 2027 and 99% the online live streaming industry has grown

Live podcasts work the same way as live video streams. You announce the show well in advance, invite listeners to sign up, and go live at the scheduled time.

To expand content reach, many creators go live on their audio podcast streaming platform and YouTube simultaneously. This helps them create more content without additional effort.

To pull off a successful live stream on multiple platforms, you must carefully plan your content and ensure the technical issues are sorted before you go live. We’ve published a detailed guide on live-streaming equipment to help you do that.

Podcast Trend #12: There’s High Demand For Podcast Courses

Podcast demand is steadily growing, and global podcast listeners are expected to reach 500 million by the end of 2024.

With such high demand, content creators naturally flock toward this content format. But most beginners don’t know where to start and execute a successful podcast.

If you’re an experienced podcaster and know your way around the various tools and equipment needed to pull off a successful podcast, why not make money by teaching aspiring podcasters?

There’s a massive demand for podcast courses, and people are heavily investing in any content that can help them get a head start in their pod acting journey.

Search Udemy for inspiration to find hundreds of podcasting courses.

Info on podcast classes:
The Podcast Blueprint
Podcast Materclass
How to start a podcast

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. If you have a successful podcast, there must be hundreds of people in your audience who’d love to replicate your success by starting their own shows.

And since they’re a part of your audience and trust you, you won’t need to persuade them to buy from you.

So, if you want to make extra money on the side, put together a comprehensive podcasting course for your audience and offer it for a reasonable price.

Read our guide to creating online courses and our review of the top online course platforms if you need help.

Podcast Trend #13: Members-Only Paid Podcasts Are On The Rise

Most podcasts are free for listeners and viewers.

But lately, many podcasters are using the subscription model to earn money by publishing members-only content.

Spotify, Google, and Apple Podcasts allow content creators to publish members-only episodes that premium listeners can access. Leading podcast hosting companies like BuzzSprout and Castos will enable you to set up membership programs and charge for your content. Learn more about the best podcast hosting platforms on the market to see which one might work best for you.

Here’s how paid podcasts work.

You run a free podcast to build an audience and grow your influence. But once you reach a sizable audience, you can offer exclusive content by introducing a paid membership program where your premium members pay a monthly fee to access exclusive content.

Your free podcast continues to generate leads for your premium membership.

This is an excellent way to monetize your podcasts and offer greater value to your listeners.

Podcast Trend #14: Voice Search Is A Growing Podcast Traffic Source

With the rise of home speakers and smart devices, voice search has quickly become a significant traffic source for websites and content creators.

Research shows that more than half of the US population uses some form of voice search features every day.

Graph that says
50% of the US population uses voice search features daily

How does this impact podcasters?

Listeners are increasingly relying on voice search to find podcasts relevant to their interests. So, instead of manually searching for shows on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, many users simply ask Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant to find podcasts on animal health or vegan lifestyle (or any other topic).

If you want your podcast to feature ion voice swatch results, you must optimize your podcast website and platform description.

Here are a few tips to optimize your podcasts for voice search.

  • Create a dedicated podcast website to upload your latest podcasts episodes.
  • Describe every episode in detail and add its transcript to the page.
  • Optimize the episode titles, URL, and meta description for SEO.
  • Avoid jargon and use everyday language that your searchers use.
  • Upload your podcast to all the mainstream podcast directories like Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts with detailed descriptions of every episode.

Doing this gives your content a great chance to be discovered by voice search assistants.

Podcast Trend #15: Finding Unique Podcast Ideas Is Challenging

You’re under constant pressure to create new podcasts and come up with engaging content ideas because everyone around you is publishing more frequently than ever.

While you should always care more about content quality than quantity, you still need to publish consistently and cover topics your audience wants.

This is why having a framework to find podcast ideas is critical for your business.

Here’s how you can find new and engaging content ideas for your podcast:

  • Cover all the fundamentals of your niche.
  • Find the most frequent questions of your audience using Google Search (People Also Ask, Google Autocomplete, Related Searches)
  • Analyze your competitors’ content and best-performing episodes.
  • Perform keyword research to unearth new topics
  • Ask your audience what they want to learn.

We’ve explained all of these methods and shared many other ways to find engaging podcast ideas in this detailed guide.

Podcasts are evolving, and so should you.

Keep a close eye on your podcast analytics and stay connected with your audience to understand how they engage with your content and the topics they like the most.

And above all, don’t be afraid to experiment with new stuff. Because with experimentation, you can find untapped opportunities and take the early mover’s advantage.

If you have any questions about this article, shoot them in the comments section.

Head shot of Learning Revolution Founder Jeff Cobb

Jeff Cobb, Founder of Learning Revolution

Jeff Cobb is an expert in online education and the business of adult lifelong learning. Over the past 20+ years he has built a thriving career based on that expertise – as an entrepreneur, a consultant, an author, and a speaker. Learning Revolution is a place where Jeff curates tips, insights, and resources to help you build a thriving expertise-based business. Learn more about Jeff Cobb here.

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