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How popular are podcasts?
Well, Hollywood Reporter says the podcasting industry is expected to hit 479 million is revenue in 2018, a 53 percent jump from 314 million in 2017.
The growth of the industry comes as podcasting becomes more mainstream. Listening in the U.S. was up 7 percent in 2018, and, per Edison Research's April report, more than half of the population aged 12 and above have listened to a podcast. The top podcasts of 2018, based on Podtrac's analysis of average per-episode downloads, were Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, Serial, This American Life, Radiolab and Dr. Death.
The most popular programs for advertisers were news, politics and current events shows, which captured more than 18 percent of advertising revenue. Other in-demand genres included comedy (14 percent) and business (13 percent). Some examples include Pod Save America, The Daily, Two Dope Queens and The World As I Like It To Be. The advertisers that brought in the most revenue to the industry were direct-to-consumer retail brands (22 percent), financial services (21 percent), business-to-business (14 percent) and arts and entertainment (10 percent).
Podcasting began to catch on after the 2012 launch of Apple's stand-alone app for the audio shows. The first true breakout was Serial, which captured audiences with its 2015 first season. As the industry has grown, so, too, have the companies looking to capture a piece of the ballooning revenue pool. Companies like Gimlet Media, Endeavor Audio, Crooked Media and Wondery have launched to produce original shows. Now, more established companies are also entering the fray. Within the last year, both Spotify and iHeartMedia have made acquisitions in the space to bolster their audio entertainment capabilities.