The curious case of audiobooks vs. podcasts & lessons for podcasters

Last December Deloitte published its Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions 2020 and inside you can find a lot of useful data. I was struck by the comparison of global revenue numbers of audiobooks and podcasts.

Headphones + books | Photo by sindrehsoereide from Pixabay
by sindrehsoereide from Pixabay
Deloitte Insights

Does podcasting have a monetization problem?

😢 Well, yes.

Source: AdvertiseCast 2020 advertising rates

Lessons for podcasters: What can podcasting learn from the audiobook industry

Create products you can sell

I want to come back to the idea of podcasting as a habit creating exercise which is best done by daily news podcasts (also weeklies to a lesser extent).

Memberships & subscriptions

A lot of successful audiobook businesses have a subscription option, o lot of times based on credits you get every month and can exchange for an audiobook of your liking.

Referral programs

Another way to get inspired by the audiobook industry is the referral program. Audible used to have one, but not anymore (since 2015), but some other audiobook publishers assign loyalty points when you refer a friend.

Source: Chartable


As for independent podcast creators, there is no easy way out. We are still a few years away from “audio programmatic ads for everyone” (meaing a time when it will be possible for any podcaster to run ads no matter which podcast host they use or country they live in — just like Google Ads).

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