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Survey finds mixed feelings in music biz about digital platforms adding podcasts

The UK’s BPI teamed with MusicAlly for a new report on music and podcasts. Their report recapped some existing research on podcast listening from sources such as The Infinite Dial, RAJAR, and the IAB, but it also offered some original research into how the audio format can be a tool for the music industry. The two organizations conducted an online survey of labels, artist managers, music publishers, distributors, and label services for their stances on the potential of podcasts.

For now, the music industry sees podcasts as paths for promotion and marketing rather than a revenue source. A whopping 92% of the respondents said they agreed strongly or somewhat that podcasts represented a good opportunity to promote and market catalog artists. The artists themselves were even more bullish, as 94% agreed that podcasts could promote their acts and albums. Only two-thirds (66.6%) of respondents agreed that podcasts were a path to generating new revenue. Music companies were a little more hesitant about podcasting, with 49% agreeing that podcasts could help them create awareness and 35% agreeing that podcasts could form brand partnerships. Only 3% said they found no benefit to getting involved with podcasts.

Their survey also polled sentiments about digital service providers such as Spotify getting more active in podcasts. Large swaths of the respondents saw this shift as likely to help grow subscriber bases and as generally positive for music rightsowners. But there are also concerns about whether podcasts will fragment that growing audience. Twenty percent of respondents strongly agreed that music rightsholder revenue might be negatively impacted with the shifts, and 15% said they strongly agreed that the podcast focus would mean users listening to less music.

Anna Washenko