Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Hey there!

So, how much time do you spend listening to radio, and how much time do you spend with podcasts? I’m sure the answers from everyone including you would be all over the place.

Some people love consuming podcasts, some don’t know how, and some are just more comfortable with the tried and true radio.

Nationally, according to last year’s numbers, radio is listened to more than 10 times as much as podcasting.

But the money’s out of whack. Instead of 1/10th the income of radio, podcasting is actually only getting about 2%.

And I think I know why. For those of you who want to make money with podcasting, it’s going to take a sea change in the technology.

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Hope this helps!


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oh hey there it’s it’s David H Lawrence
the 17th and I was just listening to a
podcast about CTE and brain damage and
it was about soccer not football in the
UK soccer and not football in the United
fascinating podcast I love love love
podcasts and you know I also love radio
but there’s some stuff that’s kind of
out of whack I’ve been podcasting now
for almost 25 years I was I’m proud to
be one of the very first podcasters ever
before it was even called podcasting in
the mid 90s
and what I’ve noticed over time is there
have been these little bumps in terms of
popularity and radio has had this long
decline of popularity radio keeps
insisting that it’s Reach is what’s most
important that it has a 99.9 percent
reach and all that means is everybody
has a radio in their car at home on
their computer you know there’s radios
everywhere but the question is all right
is radio being used 99.9 percent of the
time and the answer that is no in terms
of the entire structure of how much
audio we consume as a society radio is
now down to forty five percent of all
that and that’s from a high of around 90
to 95% hmm podcasting on the other hand
is at its highest consumption rate ever
and it’s only 4% of what we consume in
terms of audio there’s audiobooks and
there’s music there’s things like iTunes
and Spotify and things like that
anyway what’s out of whack about this is
that radio and podcasting don’t have a
similar share of advertising radio has a
huge much bigger share than they have of
listenership it’s it’s around 70% of the
advertising money that comes in to
audio-based channels so it only has 45
of the listening but it has 70% of the
ad income and podcasting has 4% of the
listener listening share but it only has
1% of the ad income now there’s a reason
for that radio has been around for a
long long long time over a hundred years
of both commercial and public radio
and the availability of radio lends
itself to an image of being a legacy
media and so advertisers they’re used to
salesmen in radio talking about how
available it is how easy it is they
sometimes fall prey to the idea that if
they purchase a certain show that’s very
popular then it will help them in terms
of reach and that’s sold by sales people
podcasting has a real problem it’s hard
to be found with podcasting because
there’s so much podcasting going on
right on radio you have maybe depending
upon what size market you’re in yet
maybe 40 stations in your market that
matter that have ratings and I don’t
mean matter in terms of great content
because there are lots of stations that
are little teeny tiny stations and they
have some really interesting great
content I’m talking about stuff that
matters to an advertiser they want to
reach an audience and they want to spend
money to do it so in a market like Los
Angeles you have 80 radio stations in
smaller markets you might have 20 or 30
so 40 is a good average and each one of
those 40 radio stations has a limit of a
hundred and sixty eight hours a week
that they can put programming on so
there’s kind of a finite world there’s
the morning shows there’s the midday
shows there’s the news there’s the
traffic there’s the weather there’s the
talk it’s all pretty easily defined and
found simply by reaching over and
turning on your radio podcasting on the
other hand has no limitation in terms of
the number of stations in terms of the
amount of programming there’s no 168
hours limit
and there’s no barrier to entry to
actually do a podcast I mean I teach
people how to do podcasting over at vo
to go go comm and you know there’s no
you want a podcast you go right ahead
and podcast anybody who wants to podcast
can podcast the problem with that is
anybody who wants to podcast can podcast
and what that creates is this huge base
of podcasts that make it hard to find
ones that are useful to an advertiser
to sponsor and we’re going to talk about
in a future episode how to make money
with podcasts that has nothing to do
with ads ads is one way and it’s a big
way but it’s not the biggest way so the
problem is one of discovery not hard to
discover a radio station fairly
difficult to discover a podcast sure you
can search for it on iTunes or you can
search for it on Google Play or any of
your favorite podcasting players but you
don’t know quality you don’t know
reputation and these are the things that
radio trades on if you’ve got a station
that’s been in a market for you know
hundreds of ratings periods with a
particular format its well-known may not
be listened to as much as it used to be
but you know who the hot jock is in the
morning you know where Ryan Seacrest is
if you’re if you’ve got a KISS FM
affiliate in your town you kind of have
an idea that not so with podcasts and so
because of that discovery problem and
because of the fact that podcasts are
relatively new and relatively unproven
when it comes to the effectiveness of
the advertising I think they’re very
effective and podcast networks will tell
you they’re amazingly effective and
cheap compared to radio radio makes more
money because they charge based on their
legacy not just the ratings right
podcasts have much more specific ratings
in terms of downloads and listens it’s
kind of hard to agree on that sometimes
radio has a long history of ratings
not so well defined but nobody’s gonna
sit there and argue with we’re the
number one radio station in town so they
have some advantages going for them and
it’ll change over time over time the
amount of advertising going to
internet-based media will even out in
terms of usage and money with radio
radios usage and money not happening
right now it’s it’s kind of lopsided and
that’s what I wanted to bring to your
which means there’s lots of growth in
the future and it’s the near future like
five ten years so now is the time to
really you know if you want a podcast if
you wanted to put your your performance
skills to use and not have to ask
anybody for permission podcasting is an
amazing way to do it I’d be happy to
teach you over at vo – go go we’ve got
two parts to the classes on mastering
audio podcasting but if you want to do
it you can do it and that’s the cool
thing and you can make money a lot of
different ways as I said I’m gonna be
doing an upcoming episode in these
one-a-day videos that I’m doing all this
year on the many different ways of
making money with podcasting including
advertising but you know there’s lots of
lots of different avenues so podcasting
do you listen to podcasts do you listen
to radio how much do you listen to of
both is there something else that you
listen to like audiobooks or
streaming audio or you know your own CD
color who knows what do you consume what
are the things that really draw your
attention now when it comes to either
informing yourself relaxing enjoying
sort of reconstituting yourself on
downtime what is it that you really love
let me know in the comments below and if
you by the way are watching this on
youtube go over to vo2 gogo calm the
link is below this video for the page
where the comments are civil and
moderated not necessarily the case on on
YouTube but we’d love to have you over
vo – go go comm if you’d like to sign up
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whenever there is a new episode released
go ahead and click on my face there if
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you I’m David H Lawrence a 17 thank you
so much for watching and I will talk to
you tomorrow.



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  1. It seems to me that a major issue with podcasting is breadth of appeal. For example, the only ones that interest me, not really being a pop culture fan, would tend to have small potential audiences. But even at that, there’s enough focused material out there that I don’t have settle for something that only vaguely interests me. I can’t help wondering how common my case is; but if it is common, it’s going to be an uphill climb to gain ground. Exceptions might be a few mass-appeal topics like cars or fashion (but there’s already a lot of video channels for that).

  2. This was really interesting in terms of saturation (or lack thereof) for podcasts. I’ve been hesitant because my assumption was that the market is saturated. Food for thought!