Welcome to the 7th annual RAIN Predictions!

We are proud to present topical forecasts from industry leaders around the world.

Here are the brave prognosticators for 2020:

  • Alan Cross – President, Brain Dead Dog Productions
  • Alexis Van de Wyer – CEO, Adswizz
  • Anya Grundman – Senior Vice President for Programming and Audience Development, NPR
  • Arif Noorani – Executive Producer, CBC Podcasts
  • Benjamin Masse – Managing Director, Market Development & Strategy, Triton digital
  • Bob Kane – Vice President Sales, TPX
  • Brendan Monaghan – CEO, Megaphone
  • Bryan Moffett – COO, National Public Media
  • Buzz Knight – CEO, Buzz Knight Media
  • Carolyn Walker – CEO/Managing Partner, Response
  • Conal Byrne – President, iHeartPodcast Network
  • Corey Layton – Commercial Product and Audio Partnerships Director, ARN
  • Dave Zohrob – Co-founder & CEO, Chartable
  • Dominick Milano – SVP/Sales & Business Development, North America, Targetspot
  • Fannie Cohen – Founder, FannieCo
  • Harry Clark – Chief Revenue Officer, Market Enginuity
  • Hernan Lopez – Founder & CEO, Wondery
  • Jay Green – SVP Digital Strategy & Analytics, Cadence13 a Division of Radio.com
  • Jeff Vidler – President, Audience Insights
  • Jim Griffin – Founder, Pho and Teacher, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Joe Copeman – Global SVP Sales and UK Managing Director, Acast
  • John Pacino – SVP, Product, RADIO.COM
  • John Wordock – Executive Editor, Podcasting, Westwood One
  • Jon Stephenson – CEO, Empire Streaming
  • Karim Kanji – Director, Social & Emerging Media, Active International
  • Kerri Hoffman – CEO, PRX
  • Lex Friedman – Chief Revenue Officer, ART19
  • Matt Deegan – Co-founder of Folder Media & the British Podcast Awards
  • Matt Hird – Senior Associate, Audience Insights.
  • Matt Turck – CRO, Megaphone
  • Max Willens – Reporter, DIGIDAY
  • Mike McVay – President, McVay Consulting
  • Mike Orren – Chief Product Officer, Dallas Morning News
  • Mirko Lagonegro – CEO and Founder, DigitalMDE
  • Neal Schore – CEO, Triton Digital
  • Pat Higbie – CEO & Co-founder, XAPPmedia
  • Rob McCracken – Senior Director, Corporate & Business Development, Scripps
  • Rob Walch – VP Podcaster Relations, Libsyn
  • Roger Lanctot – Director, Automotive Connected Mobility, Strategy Analytics
  • Sam Crowther – Executive Creative Director, A Million Ads
  • Sarah Thompson – CSO, Mindshare Canada
  • Seth Resler – Digital Strategist, Jacobs Media
  • Sharon Taylor – Managing Director, Omny Studio (A Triton Digital Company)
  • Steve Goldstein – Founder/CEO, Amplifi Media
  • Steve Pratt – VP, Pacific Content
  • Tamar Charney – Managing Editor, NPR One
  • The TPX Team
  • Todd Cochrane – CEO, Blubrry Podcasting
  • Tom Yeung – VP Supply Americas, AdsWizz
  • Valerie Geller -Broadcast/Podcast Coach and Trainer
  • Zack Reneau-Wedeen – Founder and Head of Product, Google Podcasts

 

 

“Apple hasn’t innovated its position in this space for years. Watch for Spotify to pull very close to Apple’s podcasting market share.” Alan Cross – President, Brain Dead Dog Productions

 

“Many podcast platforms and services will get increased funding from top tier investors across the globe. 2020 will not yet be the year of exits and consolidations. Analysts should closely watch activities in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia.” Benjamin Masse – Managing Director, Market Development & Strategy, Triton Digital

 

“2020 will see momentum in more short-form audio produced daily (or even several times a day) to help feed algorithms that deliver personalized content.” Bryan Moffett – COO, National Public Media

 

Spotify will continue to rule the Podcast world. New audiences will come onto podcasting.

Sarah Thompson – CSO, Mindshare Canada

 

2020 will see a decline in the share of new podcasts coming from independent and amateur podcasters. There will be a more visible shift into two streams of podcasting: large, general-interest podcasts with corporate backing that appeal to mass-market advertising campaigns, and niche, special interest podcasts that can super-serve smaller, narrowly targeted audiences and/or advertisers.

Matt Hird – Senior Associate, Audience Insights

 

“Large new content platforms – like Facebook and YouTube – will build best-in-class audio-specific products and begin to distribute podcasts en masse.”

Conal Byrne – President, iHeartPodcast Network

 

“We will continue to see podcasting burst out of the iOS bubble.”

Jeff Vidler – President, Audience Insights

 

“Larger platform companies engaged in the music streaming wars will take note of what Spotify has done and dive in with both feet. On the heels of this attention, we’ll see another big content acquisition or two in 2020.” Brendan Monaghan – CEO, Megaphone

 

“Record labels will become major forces in podcasting.” Dave Zohrob – Co-founder & CEO, Chartable

 

“Expectations to show an ROI from some of the big investments made over the past 18 months will increase. ” Harry Clark – Chief Revenue Officer, Market Enginuity

 

 

“Apple will launch its first original podcast.”

Dave Zohrob – Co-founder & CEO, Chartable

 

“Look for media companies to enter podcast in a big way. Podcasting has grown to a large scale to be considered part of the portfolio of a multi-channel go-to-market strategy.”

Tom Yeung – VP Supply Americas, AdsWizz

 

“will be a year of reckoning for some podcast titles as they fail to build a large enough audience, not because they aren’t good, but because they don’t have the megaphone or cross-promotional assets to be found.”

Steve Goldstein – Founder/CEO, Amplifi Media

 

“Podcasting will continue to grow, but a culling-of-the-herd is coming.”

Mike McVay – President, McVay Consulting

 

“The main platforms — Apple, Google, Spotify — will integrate their services into devices, trying to keep all our podcast time with a single platform. This will make it difficult for third party podcast apps as users will want to be able to access their subscription across all their devices.”

Matt Deegan – Co-founder of Folder Media & the British Podcast Awards

 

“Next year, it will be faster, easier, simpler to license music for podcast use. SoundExchange took the first step, they will set the standard.” Jim Griffin – Founder, Pho and Teacher, Northern Virginia Community College

 

2020 will be a transitional year for local news audio. As contraction and consolidation escalates, it will look as though audio is waning among newspaper publishers, as products that don’t deliver instant margins will be shelved. However, as listenership increases, we’ll either see a platform making monetization easier, or the locals teaming up with national players to deliver a national-local experience. Mike Orren – Chief Product Officer, Dallas Morning News

 

“Data and analytics will become increasingly important in the buying ecosystem.” Neal Schore – CEO, Triton Digital

 

“The listening audience is here at scale, and in 2020 ad spending will catch up. Podcasting becomes a must-buy as brands go from testing the waters to plunging in. And it’s driven by advances in measurement that further prove out the medium’s superior ROI. That demand will be met with new ad products – from host-read endorsements to audience targeting across shows – creating flexibility for brands to meet their diverse campaign goals.” Erik Diehn – CEO, Stitcher

 

“Advertising spend in podcasts in the US reaches $1-billion, or comes within a hair of it — a year earlier than anticipated in most current forecasts.”

Hernan Lopez – Founder & CEO, Wondery

 

“VC investment will continue to pour in, causing increased consolidation across the ecosystem. Publishers will acquire hosting platforms and podcatchers will acquire creators. Bullish publishers who invested heavily at first will pull away as podcast ROI isn’t realised with the speed or scale that was promised.”

Corey Layton – Commercial Product and Audio Partnerships Director, ARN

 

“2020 will be the year when companion podcasts will become part of the standard marketing mix for major motion pictures and flagship television series.”

Fannie Cohen – Founder, FannieCo

 

“This past year, the launch of Luminary sparked a huge amount of discussion about subscription-only podcasts. However, the bigger story of 2020 will be the adoption of another kind of private, secure podcasting: internal communications and on-demand training inside large corporations. When you’ve got 50k, 100k, 200k employees around the world and everyone is suffering from inbox overload, using audio, a non-screen-based medium, to communicate effectively will be a major trend.”

Steve Pratt – VP, Pacific Content

 

“Larger agencies and big brands will start buying podcast advertising in larger buys targeted by topic and audience, in addition to buying specific shows as they are doing now. They will also expand beyond sponsorship and host read advertising, as the technology advances to make it safer and easier to do targeted advertising that is dynamically inserted and produced in a way that fits within the tone and theme of the podcast.”

Alexis Van de Wyer – CEO, Adswizz

 

“As podcasting continues to go mainstream and grow in revenue, it will attract legal scrutiny that it has largely escaped so far. You will see more high-profile charges of plagiarism, defamation, copyright infringement, etc. You will also see more attorneys who promote knowledge of legal issues in podcasting as one of their specialties.”

Seth Resler – Digital Strategist, Jacobs Media

 

“We will start to see advertising dollars trickling down into the tens of thousands of shows not yet monetized, as the biggest shows are running ad loads now higher than most radio programming. Inventory is tight and advertisers can no longer ignore that media segment.”

Todd Cochrane – CEO, Blubrry Podcasting

 

 

“The epic 2020 election cycle will be a big boon for journalism organizations making radio and podcasts, but the intensity of the news cycle will also fatigue many listeners, making it a big moment for entertainment programming.” Anya Grundman – Senior Vice President for Programming and Audience Development, NPR

 

“Apple and Spotify integration with Alexa will increase smart speaker podcast listening, but it’ll remain in single digit percentages. Gone are the days when families gather around the radio (or the smart speaker) to enjoy audio content. I think we’ll see people finish the last few minutes of an episode now that Alexa can pick up where they left off, but mobile listening (and headphone/earbud-based listening) will remain the lion’s share.” Lex Friedman – Chief Revenue Officer, ART19

 

2019 saw more Fortune 100 brands either jumping into or renewing and expanding campaigns in podcasting and custom audio, and that trend will accelerate as targeting and attribution continue to improve, likely outpacing demand for branded podcasts. Bryan Moffett – COO, National Public Media

 

“Podcast listening becomes mainstream. More than 51% of Americans will listen to a podcast in 2020, but what will be more meaningful is that more listeners will become power listeners, especially in the older demos, as they figure out the ease of access to rich content this medium provides.”

Rob McCracken – Senior Director, Corporate & Business Development, Scripps

 

“The podcast advertising market will grow even faster than predicted, and likely break the billion-dollar barrier in 2020. Brand advertising will largely drive this.”

Matt Turck – CRO, Megaphone

 

“The international expansion of podcasts will continue. Translating favourites will be one wave of growth. The English-language market will be outpaced by multilingual podcasts as demand increases in places like China, India, Brazil…creating distinct podcast cultures.”

Arif Noorani – Executive Producer, CBC Podcasts

 

“Experimentation – Corporations will begin to develop internal podcasts to communicate effectively with employees.”

The TPX Team

 

“We should see production value increase with podcasts for a few reasons: 1. Podcasts – like Uber, Airbnb – will become part of the gig economy. With more people relying on podcasts as their main source of income we’ll see these people paying close attention to sound quality as a way of standing out from the crowd. 2. Fortune 500 companies will invest in branded podcasts as the media landscape and opportunities for marketing and advertising become cluttered and crowded. 3. The costs of quality production continue to drop.”

Karim Kanji – Director, Social & Emerging Media, Active International

 

 

“As content and technology become more interwoven, 2020 will be critical for the places where privacy and consumption intersect. At its core, podcasting is an intimate medium built on listener trust. To break that trust would be highly consequential. Now is the time to set digital standards rooted in strong values and purpose, which will allow on-demand audio to keep its trajectory of growth.” Kerri Hoffman – CEO, PRX

 

Monetization opportunities for podcasters will continue to broaden in 2020, particularly for smaller podcasters in the ecosystem who don’t necessarily monetize today. It’s possible that the $863.4M projection for podcast advertising revenue in the US from IAB and PwC will appear conservative in hindsight. Zack Reneau-Wedeen – Founder and Head of Product, Google Podcasts

 

“If the innovation adoption curve holds true for podcasting, I think the number of brands jumping into podcasting will more than double in the next few years.”

Carolyn Walker – CEO/Managing Partner, Response

 

“We will continue to see more Fortune 500 companies join us in the space for the first time. Blue chip growth will be our biggest indicator of success at the end of 2020.”

Bob Kane – Vice President Sales, TPX

 

Podcast advertising’s ecosystem will further open up and publisher monetization capabilities will no longer be restricted by their current hosting company (both tech and legal limitations).

Jon Stephenson – CEO, Empire Streaming

 

“SEO for podcasts will emerge as an area of growing interest as Google continues to establish itself as a discovery platform for individual shows and episodes.”

Max Willens – Reporter, DIGIDAY

 

YouTube will continue to emerge as a destination for podcast listeners, prompting more content creators to introduce video equipment to their studios in 2020. A Westwood One survey in the summer of 2019 found 33% of weekly podcast listeners use YouTube for consuming their favorite shows. That number will near 40% in the year ahead.

John Wordock – Executive Editor, Podcasting, Westwood One

 

“We’ll see more jockeying for position in “owning” the data and attribution space.”

Harry Clark – Chief Revenue Officer, Market Enginuity

 

“The prediction of podcasting revenue for 2020 is understated. Podcasting will continue to be purchased as a standalone but advertisers will continue to grow budgets by adding podcasting […] Once that’s accounted for that hockey stick gets even steeper.”

Jay Green – SVP Digital Strategy & Analytics, Cadence13 a Division of Radio.com

 

“Big companies that never released original podcasts before … will release original podcasts in 2020!”

Lex Friedman – Chief Revenue Officer, ART19

 

“We’ll start to see high quality independent podcast production companies merging to provide greater scale, and to be more interesting acquisition targets. Particularly in non US countries.”

Matt Deegan – Co-founder of Folder Media & the British Podcast Awards

 

“Monetization and discovery will be the top issues. Money will be there for top podcasts. Discovery will be the harder part for just about all podcasts. It won’t just be a matter of the podcast being found, but also perceived as different and better.”

Steve Goldstein – Founder/CEO, Amplifi Media

 

“One trend we are seeing: Shorter attention spans, so podcasts are becoming shorter. One trend we are seeing: Shorter attention spans, so podcasts are becoming shorter.”

Valerie Geller -Broadcast/Podcast C Valerie Geller -Broadcast/Podcast Coach and Trainer