There's no denying that in the past few years, podcasts have grown in popularity. When we got started, there was a small number of shows and a small audience for them. But, today, everyone knows the word and the number of shows has grown to an unbelievable point. The lockdown has had an interesting effect on the market, with some listenership down and some significantly up.
This rapid growth over the past few years has led to a lot of new investments from some of the largest tech and media companies. Google leaned hard into podcasts with Google Podcasts. That move took podcasting from a minimal aspect of Google Play Music to its own focused product. Apple did the same thing, creating Apple Podcasts. Spotify and Amazon have both introduced podcasting into their platforms, as well. But, Spotify has put the most emphasis on it in their business.
Not only has Spotify added podcasts to their catalog, but they have also gotten involved in the creation process by purchasing Anchor, a second-tier hosting and production company. They have also put a lot of money into exclusive podcasts (which technically aren'y podcasts, but we don't exactly have a term for this, so we'll ignore it). These shows include The Joe Rogan Experience, one of the most popular podcasts on the internet.
Now, the company has dedicated even more resources into the space with a deal to produce video projects. According to a report from Deadline, they have entered into an agreement with Chernin Entertainment to turn Spotify projects into movies and TV shows. Two shows, Blackout and The Clearing, have already been agreed upon, with one starring Rami Malek from Mr. Robot.
Audio dramas are a small portion of the number of podcasts but have taken a larger portion of the listenership. The change may have something to do with the lockdown and the lack of new episodes of scripted dramas on television and movies. We'll see how this move works out over time.