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Why Podcasting Isn't Dying: A Resilient Medium Thriving Against All Odds
Episode 7415th May 2024 • Podcast Gym • Andy Wang
00:00:00 00:05:48

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Recent headlines have been quick to proclaim the demise of podcasting, citing layoffs at major platforms like Spotify and Public Radio. Yet, amidst the tumult, there lies a different narrative – one of resilience and growth. Contrary to naysayers, podcasting is not dying; it’s evolving, adapting, and flourishing in unexpected ways. In this post, we’ll explore why podcasting remains a vibrant medium, despite challenges, and discuss strategies for monetization and success.


While it’s true that some major players in the podcasting industry have faced setbacks, independent podcasts have continued to thrive. These grassroots creators epitomize the essence of podcasting – a platform where anyone with a microphone and a story can find an audience. Unlike traditional media, where gatekeepers control access, podcasting offers a level playing field for creators of all backgrounds and interests.

Independent podcasts often have loyal and engaged audiences, built through authenticity, niche content, and community engagement. Unlike corporate giants, these creators are nimble, able to pivot quickly in response to audience feedback, and can produce content with little to no budget. Moreover, they’re not beholden to shareholders or advertisers, allowing them to maintain creative control and pursue their passions without compromise.


According to the Infinite Dial 2024 report by Edison Research, the podcast landscape is witnessing significant shifts, with nearly 100 million Americans engaging with podcasts weekly. Despite concerns over a decline in downloads due to alterations in Apple iOS 17, indicating a drop in figures for major podcasts like This American Life, Edison’s survey-based findings present a more nuanced perspective. Contrary to download metrics, Edison’s data reveals a positive trend, with 47 percent of Americans aged 12 and above tuning into podcasts monthly, marking a five-point increase from the previous year, the largest jump since 2019. Moreover, weekly listeners have increased from 31 to 34 percent, estimating around 98 million individuals. By relying on survey data rather than raw downloads, Edison’s report offers insight into the evolving podcast landscape, underscoring its integration into mainstream media consumption habits. Additionally, the report touches on various other trends such as social media usage, smart speaker ownership, and audiobook consumption, providing a comprehensive view of the evolving media landscape.


For those looking to monetize their podcasts, there are numerous avenues to explore:

  1. Advertising and Sponsorships: While recent layoffs at major platforms might suggest a slowdown in advertising revenue, independent podcasters are still attracting sponsors. By cultivating a dedicated audience and producing high-quality content, podcasters can command competitive advertising rates or secure sponsorship deals with brands aligned with their niche.
  2. Crowdfunding and Patronage: Platforms like Patreon have empowered podcasters to monetize directly from their audience. By offering exclusive content, merchandise, or behind-the-scenes access, creators can incentivize listeners to support them financially. This model not only provides a steady stream of income but also fosters a deeper connection with fans.
  3. Merchandise Sales: From t-shirts to mugs to stickers, merchandise sales offer another revenue stream for podcasters. By leveraging their brand and creating unique, appealing products, creators can turn their listeners into loyal customers while generating supplementary income.
  4. Live Events and Ticket Sales: Especially post-pandemic, live events present an exciting opportunity for podcasters to engage with their audience in person. Whether it’s live recordings, Q&A sessions, or meet-and-greets, these events not only generate revenue but also strengthen the bond between creators and fans.
  5. Premium Content and Subscriptions: Some podcasters opt for a subscription-based model, offering premium content or ad-free episodes to subscribers for a monthly fee. This approach provides a predictable income stream while rewarding loyal listeners with exclusive perks.


Despite the challenges faced by the podcasting industry, it’s clear that the medium is far from dying. Independent creators continue to produce innovative and compelling content, forging meaningful connections with audiences around the world. By embracing new monetization strategies and staying true to their vision, podcasters can thrive in this dynamic and ever-evolving landscape. So, the next time someone claims that podcasting is on its deathbed, remind them that it’s not the end – it’s just the beginning of a new chapter in the story of audio storytelling.

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