When Purpose and Podcast Come Together.

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The Future of Podcasting

This is a guest post by author, futurist and podcaster, Minter Dial

As we hopefully begin to wind down the most severe part of the lockdown, the question now becomes what next? Only through anecdotal evidence, I’ve seen how some people have been questioning the meaning of the whole pandemic. What’s it mean for me? And what is the meaning of what I’m doing?

Over the last two months, I can feel the churn in my own mind. With the podcast I’ve been running for ten years, I’ve had to postpone interviews recorded prior to the lockdown because their tone and content just wasn’t adapted to the current period. Further, I’ve felt the need to seek out people with more appropriate messages, such as those encouraging deeper empathy, purpose, and passion.

About three weeks ago, I was zooming with a couple of friends, Andrew Grill and Sam Sethi, and as we were contemplating the situation, we were stirred into action. What could we do that would be relevant and useful and also serve to do something for the wider good? Sam came up with the idea of doing an online festival on podcasting.

We felt that the world could do with a way to unite and to make sure that podcasters’ voices were being heard. And with not a little bravado, we put a date in the diary and got to work. Thus was born the podcast Festival Live 2020, launching on May 28, around the theme of “The Future of podcasting.”

What we’ve found over the lockdown period is that podcasting has also experienced quite a turbulent time. On the one hand, there’s no more commuting to consume podcasts in a habitual manner. You can’t go to the gym or, for certain communities, you weren’t even allowed to leave your home for a run or a walk. Consumption patterns dropped, shifted and have now come back up to pre-COVID levels, but in a different way.

People are also listening to different content and on different devices than before. On the production side, there’s been a huge uptick. Apple and Spotify both announced that they now carry over one million active podcasts, with some 200,000 new podcasts born over the last three months. Moreover, among the titan podcast provider battle, Spotify has made tremendous gains versus Apple.

If you’re interested, I wrote up a more detailed report on the state of podcasting in the Coronavirus pandemic here. So, if you are curious about the world of podcasting and what the future of this beautiful medium holds, in an era beyond the pandemic, please come check out our event. We’ve got a cast of superstars, with Kiara Swisher(Recode, Pivot), James Cridland (Editor of Podnews), Bradley Davis (CEO of Podchaser), Jason Phipps(BBC Sounds Commissioning Editor for podcasts), and Dr. Siobhan McHugh, multiple award-winning podcast producer and storyteller and founder of RadioDoc Review.

There are Earlybird tickets still available ($10). Grab your ticket here and mark the date in your calendar: May 28 at 3pm BST. We are intending to provide a short, sharp, and valuable session with a way for all to congregate and exchange, too.

You can find my podcast at Minter Dialogue and more about me on my blog here.