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Independent Podcaster Census Reveals the Secrets to Successful Podcasting

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There’s a lot of buzz at The Podcast Host today. And that’s because we’re officially launching our IndiePod Manifesto – a 24-page document containing 10 pillars for independent podcasting success

The IndiePod Manifesto is built upon the results of a census we ran with 1,200 independent podcasters like you from all over the world, surveyed over a period of three months.

As well as containing clear, actionable guidance for independent podcasters, the IndiePod Manifesto is packed with fascinating census data. This data provides a unique insight into how other podcasters are currently working and what their expectations are for the future.

If you participated in the survey, we thank you for that! You can now grab your copy of the manifesto to see how your experiences compare to other creators in the industry. 

indiepod manifesto

A Few Takeaways From the Census

The main aim of the IndiePod Manifesto is to provide evidence-based guidance for independent podcasters. But, the census data provided some insights into podcasting trends that we just can’t not talk about. 

Here’s a few of those insights…

Podcasting is a Long-Game Medium

One key takeaway from the data is that the vast majority (43%) of podcasters who participated in the survey said ‘having the patience to play the long game’ is the #1 key to podcasting success. 

This was followed not-so-closely by good planning (19%) and good equipment (14%). Here, we dig into why playing the long game is so important in podcasting.

graph showing key to successful podcasting
Source: IndiePod Manifesto 2023

Video Isn’t Defining the Future of Podcasting

While the industry buzz around video podcasting continues, the IndiePod census suggests not everyone’s convinced. The majority of independent podcasters in the census said they’re not using video at all in their podcast right now (51%). 32% said they have no plans to in future either

12% said they do record video when creating their podcasts, but only to repurpose into marketing content to promote their show. This is a tactic we strongly encourage any podcaster to try.

Graph showing how podcasters use video
Source: IndiePod Manifesto 2023

So clearly, despite what many industry folks are saying right now, video isn’t replacing audio in podcasting any time soon. In fact, we’re confident that it never will.

Interview Shows Have the Most Longevity

Solo shows were revealed to be the most popular podcast format (43%) for independent creators who took the survey. 

However, a deep dig into the data revealed something else too. While solo shows are most popular amongst early-stage podcasters, the trend declines the longer a show has been running. The more episodes a podcast has totted up, the more popular interview-format shows become. This suggests podcasters will adapt their format and bring in fresh voices so the focus isn’t always entirely on them. This is a good technique for avoiding burnout and podfade. 

Graph showing popular podcasting formats
Source: IndiePod Manifesto 2023

It’s no surprise that so many independent creators start out with solo podcasting, either. This format allows for a fast iteration cycle in the early days – you have complete control and fewer logistics. It also allows you to experiment with topics, formats and audience targetting. Once you’ve tested the water on your own, you can hone in on what your ideal podcast will look like. And, for many, that means bringing on other folks, such as interview guests or regular co-hosts.

For full access to the IndiePod Manifesto – which includes all data insights from the census and your holy grail 10 pillars to podcasting success – visit this page.

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