Hollywood is increasingly making waves in podcasting, signaling a growing turn to the medium. iHeartMedia’s September 13th moves to acquire Stuff Media (at the tune of a speculated $55 million) highlight its desire to expand in the podcasting realm.
At the same time, it has recently been announced that Endeavor is launching a new division, Endeavor Audio, specializing in everything from podcast development to production and monetization. Its recent moves include a series of crime podcasts developed by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.
This is all set against a background where podcasts and podcast advertising are set to expand heavily by 2020. It has been estimated that ad revenues will double by 2020 from $314 million in 2017 to a projected $659 million. In this context, Hollywood’s traditional players are preparing to ride the wave. Rather than merely using podcast space for advertising film and television properties, they’re shifting into using podcasts for original content. As Endeavor Audio marketing head Lisa LaCour has confirmed:
“The business of audio is just starting to form… we’re starting to venture more into original content. The company determined that podcasting and audio storytelling, in general, is a big opportunity to continue the growth.” It is complicated to predict what the podcasting space will look like over the next few years, but we can expect a greater incursion into the space by major players ready to make the investment.