I have no doubts that smart speakers will drive podcast consumption even higher. I would expect the newer generations to be used to consume audio as naturally as our parents did radio.
Another trend that will accelerate both smart speakers and podcasts, in general, are audiobooks. Audible (and Amazon’s) success in these past years is opening an entirely new media segment.
People that would never read a book are, surprisingly, willing to listen to one. There is no correlation between the quality of the book and its audio counterpart.
“One of the things that’s most interesting to me here is the fact that it used to be that the success of an audiobook was correlated with the success of the print book. That is no longer true. The number of audiobooks that perform well independent of its print and eBook circulation is increasing. The format itself is creating new ways of discovering content that is becoming increasingly independent of the underlying print and eBook success.”
Global Audiobook Trends and Statistics for 2018
It’s remarkable how some writers are even willing to create audio narratives to accompany their writings. In a way, it reminds of a comeback to ‘Serial’. Podcasts and audiobooks will begin to fuse and mingle. Some podcasts will remain radio shows, others will become new narrative portals and will drive audio consumption.
“Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, recently worked with Audible to write and record a spoken-word coda to the novel, and comedian David Spade is developing an audio-only memoir. “We’re really trying to break the boundaries,” Blum says, “and go to writers and creators and artists to think outside the traditional boundaries of what is a book.”Amazon Turbocharged Audible’s Domination of Audiobooks