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The Podcast Industry is Changing: Hala Taha Shares Three Trends You Must Be Aware Of Future proof your podcast and attract more sponsors

By Terry Rice Edited by Dan Bova

Shot by Sehee for Flytographer

I learned several valuable lessons while attending the IAB Podcast Upfronts, a marketplace designed for brands, agencies, and media buyers to preview the latest and greatest in podcasts today.

The first was more of a personal experience but I'll share it for context.

While I was exiting the restroom -hey, I said it was going to be personal - Charlamagne Tha God walked in. Before I go any further, it was a very large restroom, this will make sense momentarily.

I'm a fan of his and wanted to interview him for my podcast (Reclaim + Advance) so I had to stall.

I started tinkering with the various restroom amenities, searched through the Advil a few times, then used some mouthwash I (hopefully) didn't need.

Once he finished up I quickly said.

"Apologies for being awkward but I'm a fan and a journalist at Entrepreneur magazine. Any chance I could interview you about your latest book?"

I should note, his new book is titled Get Honest or Die Lying: Why Small Talk Sucks. So, making small talk with him in a restroom was a bit intimidating.

Fortunately, he was super cool about it. Much cooler than you'd expect from a guy with 5 million Instagram followers and probably thought the restroom was his one chance at peace during the event. He gave me his team's info and even chatted with me for a bit.

So here's the first lesson I learned; if you ask, the answer will be yes or no. If you don't ask, the answer will definitely be no.

Along those lines, I'm glad I asked my friend Hala Taha if she could hook me up with a ticket to the event. Hala is the host of Young and Profiting Podcast, a top 100 podcast across all apps. She's also the founder and CEO of the YAP Media Podcast Network, representing top business and self-improvement shows.

She led two presentations during the upfronts, including "Building Communities with Podcasts", which addressed the importance of brand fit and alignment and highlighted how different audiences are finding community in their favorite podcasts.

I asked Hala to share her guidance and predictions in regards to the podcast industry, which I've summarized below.

Social influencers + Youtubers will dominate

Podcasters who understand how to build communities on video-first social media channels and Youtube will survive, grow and emerge as new podcasters.

While audio remains the primary mode of podcast consumption, Youtube is the top platform for podcast discovery.

YouTube Shorts are a great way to get in front of a new audience while posting a full video of your interview will boost subscribers and retention.

Key takeaway: In order to future-proof your podcast, leveraging video is a must. Platforms like Riverside.fm make this incredibly easy and can even automatically create video clips for you to post on social media.

Related: How Finding Meaning Helped This Entrepreneur Monetize Her Brand in a Big Way

Video Ads will become more popular:

As consumers, especially those under 30, spend more time on video platforms like YouTube and TikTok, many podcasters are seizing the opportunity by adding a video component to their show.

Watchable podcasts will open up a brand new audience for advertisers and make up gaps in download numbers.

According to a Times analysis of data published by Edison Research, sixteen of the top thirty podcasts in the final quarter of 2023 - more than half - were available as filmed videos, compared with just seven of the top 30 from that same period two years earlier.

Key takeaway: With video-enabled podcasts representing less than 10% of revenue, there is a clear opportunity to expand engagement from sound to sight. Be prepared to offer sponsor packages that include both audio and video placements.

Innovation will boom

With less impression volume available on audio podcasts and extra budget to re-allocate, advertisers will go deeper and spend more with top podcast influencers and industry thought leaders.

Creative campaigns like sponsored interviews, branded custom episodes or series, longer commercials and branded segments will become more popular.

And if you have a business related podcast, you're in luck. A study by Acast revealed nearly four in ten marketers (38%) say Business category shows have the best return.

New 360° podcast campaign innovations will emerge that span across podcast, email, social and Youtube like "webinars" and "podcast + email challenges"

Key takeaway: Advertisers will lean into business podcast hosts who can authentically speak on brands with authority and relevant niche expertise. But don't just share your knowledge through audio and video channels, you must also build and nurture your email list. These three channels will provide you with more inventory and opportunity to attract sponsors.

Terry Rice

Entrepreneur Staff

Business Development Expert-in-Residence

Terry Rice is the Business Development Expert-in-Residence at Entrepreneur and Managing Director of Growth & Partnerships at Good People Digital; an agency that provides marketing and monetization solutions for entrepreneurs. He writes a newsletter about how to build your business and personal resilience and personal brand in just 5 minutes per week and created a revenue optimization checklist to help you multiply your income potential. 

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