What Does Podcasts Coming to Facebook Mean?
With over 2.7 billion users, Facebook is the biggest social network with YouTube in second place. Facebook's Instagram has over 1.2 billion users worldwide, proving that visual media has dominated the social space.
The entrance of Clubhouse into the realm of online social platforms in late 2020 has been a market disruptor. Twitter's Spaces is an attempt to remain relevant in the area of online conversations by creating a Clubhouse competitor. The microblogging service aims to compete head-on with Clubhouse in the arena of voice-driven conversation.
You may be wondering what the above developments have to do with podcasting coming to Facebook.
The podcasting phenomenon goes back to 2004 when it was better known as audio blogging. With over 2 million podcasts in existence today, it's safe to say that there is a market for long-form audio content.
Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces foster voice-only conversation, albeit in the form of a town hall. Podcasting is a similar medium in which one or more speakers engage in a discussion for their audience. Facebook is attempting to enter the voice content market by placing the podcasting world under its umbrella.
With over half of US homes identifying as podcast fans, it's obvious that there is a vast market to tap into. Considering how people consume podcast content in their cars or during their commute, the audio avenue offers a huge revenue opportunity for the market player that comes out on top.
As it stands today, podcasts are not easily monetizable by their creators; at least not as easily as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube content. The ad networks on these platforms allow both the social media company as well as the content creators to earn revenue. With podcasts, many of the digital marketing functionalities present in social media platforms do not exist.
For a podcast, growing an audience and monetizing it resembles that of terrestrial radio but without the affiliate partners. Oftentimes, podcasters look for sponsorships or try to sell their products through their shows. Engaging in partnerships and joint ventures is difficult because of the lack of tracking and analytics.
The stats show that the majority of podcasts fail. This isn't because the medium is unpopular. On the contrary, podcast listenership is growing. The inability of podcasters to create a sustainable business around their show or to make it viable in tandem with a business they already own is key.
This is where Facebook hopes to come in. By creating a market, Facebook intends to put content creators and audiences together and extract a profit in the process. For now, Facebook will be partnering with major podcast player, Spotify. In this initial phase, Facebook will be suggesting relevant podcasts to its users.
Eventually, the plan is for more integration between the two companies, including offering Spotify's audio player in the Facebook ecosystem. One can only assume that Facebook will be looking to increase its suite of podcasting services if all goes well.
What This Means
If your podcast can't seem to take off or you're hesitant about starting one altogether, Facebook will make it easier. With the social media giant's knowledge of advertising and data mining, your ability to target a niche will become organic. Furthermore, you can expect to be able to sell your products and services easier than on other podcast platforms.
Lower Barrier to Entry
The fact that podcasts are coming to Facebook automatically means a lower barrier to entry. Until now, starting a podcast meant choosing the right platform, buying equipment and software, and struggling with an uncertain marketing process.
With Facebook becoming a podcasting hub, you can be sure that the process will be streamlined. Anyone with an account on the social media site will have the ability to find a listenership. If you currently run a podcast, you can probably expect an influx of competitors in your niche.
You Still Need to Deliver
Does a lower barrier to entry mean that you should shut everything down and give up? No, on the contrary. While the barrier to entry may be falling fast, this doesn't mean that the percentage of successful podcasts will skyrocket overnight, all of them being in your niche. On the contrary, with so many new entrants, many will wane and fade away.
Keep in mind that good content always finds its way to the top. This is the takeaway for everything from e-commerce and newsletters to blogs and, yes, podcasts.
Benefits of Podcasting on Facebook
With Facebook looking to take podcasting by storm, you should be rubbing your hands together like an evil James Bond villain. If you have a successful blueprint for running a podcast, you'll manage to boost your results upon Facebook's arrival.
In the same way that Facebook serves relevant content to its billions of users, the platform will place your podcast before audiences eager to listen to what you have to say. Furthermore, Facebook will allow its users to share podcast snippets with their friends. This feature alone should get you excited over the possibilities.
If you can create viral-worthy content, clips of your show will have the opportunity to be spread far and wide throughout Facebook. By the end of 2021, the Soundbites feature will allow the sharing of short audio clips. This has the potential to turn your podcast clips into a form of idea exchange.
Strengthen Your Podcasting Game
Podcasting success hinges on your ability to track important KPIs. Most importantly, minimizing your cost per listen will make all the difference in the world. Pinpoint your target audience, learn to create shareable content, and Facebook will become a medium through which to grow your podcast.