Newsletter October 2nd: The Podcast Market: Trends & Future Prospects


2 October 2019

The podcast market has grown rapidly in the past few years. The industry is quickly evolving; new revenue models emerge as companies find innovative ways to incorporate podcasts in their own business. As the medium grows in popularity, new actors enter and change the competitive landscape.

The growing popularity of podcasts is illustrated by the increase in reach. During the third quarter of 2019, daily reach of podcasts amounted to close to 20% in Sweden, corresponding to a strong increase year-on-year (20%). Spotify, one of the major actors in this industry and certainly so in the Nordics, reports that podcast listening has doubled on their platform, from Q1 to Q2 of 2019. Aligning with the increased consumption of podcasts, ad revenues have also grown substantially – the US market experienced a growth of 353% between 2015 and 2018, according to PWC. The Nordics is still awaiting ad figures, however, Mediavision will shortly release a consumer and market analysis for the podcast industry in our part of the world.

Sweden: Daily Reach Podcasts, 2018 – 2019 

Source: Mediavision 

Mergers and Acquisitions
Further proof of the podcast market’s attractiveness is the large number of recent acquisitions. One example is Spotify´s acquisition of the American podcast production companies Anchor and Gimlet Media, a deal worth 300 million USD. The large investments disclose a belief of continued growth for the market, especially as affluent actors – with potentially global reach – enters the market. For example, Apple´s prospective subscription service is considered a threat, especially since the company already possesses one of the most commonly used platforms for podcast listening.

However, acquisitions are not limited to production companies. Several of the more popular podcasts have entered agreements of exclusive distribution. For example, Spotify recently secured the exclusive distribution rights of popular Swedish podcasts “Gynning & Berg” and “Della Q”. The latter was awarded “Newcomer of the Year” at this year´s edition of Guldörat, the Swedish radio- and podcast awards.

Innovative Business Models
The industry has also seen new business models emerge. Subscription services become more common, as they tie popular podcasts to their services. In August, the Danish podcast service Talk Town was launched by Egmont. Additionally, the Danish market saw the launch of Podimo in September, entering the market with a substantial capital of 45 million DKK. Investors included the German tech-fund E. Ventures and the Danish tech-fund Hertcore. Apart from Spotify, no major subscription service has yet been launched on the Swedish market. Worth a notice though, is that all podcasts on Spotify are made available for everyone – regardless of pay or non-pay.

Other markets are also eager to profit from the popularity of podcasts by incorporating them into their business models. For example, traditional media such as newspapers are today offering podcasts as part of their content production, including for example Danish newspapers, Politiken, Jysk Fynske Medier and Zetland, Norwegian Verdens Gang and Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter and Göteborgs Posten.

Podcasts also offer an opportunity for providers to elevate other forms of content. A recent development in the Nordic market is podcasts related to TV shows. These are either hosted by fans or a third party, establishing a community around the show or simply profiting on the popularity of the program. Lately, production companies have begun to distribute their own podcasts as well. These are referred to as companion podcasts and examples include HBO´s Chernobyl and the first Nordic companion podcast, NENT´s Heder. According to NENT, companion podcasts allow them to create a valuable ecosystem around their formats.

The podcast market is clearly in a very interesting phase. The behavior of consumers as well as content producers and owners are transforming quickly. Mediavision follow this development closely.

Industry News

In a pressrelease on Tuesday, Dainsh Yousee disclose that their contractual ties to Discovery is now officially dissolved. The CEO of Yousee emphasize that the termination is one step in the process of renegotiating the broadcast of Discovery´s channels via Yousee.
Last weekend, the 35th edition of the Sweden´s largest bookfair was held in Göteborg. Despite reports of declining numbers for consumption of printed books, the fair attracted 86 000 visitors which is a small increase compared to the previous year.
On Tuesday, Netflix announced that their hit series Stranger Things will return for a fourth season and that the creators, the Duffer Brothers has signed a nine-figure deal with the company. Stranger Things has awarded Netflix with 30 Emmy nomination and 6 wins.
The support parties of the Danish government announced today that they aim to establish a tax of 5 % for streaming services. The collected funds will be given to the Danish public service, allowing them to produce more content.
On September 28, 1994, the ferry Estonia sank in the Baltic see and 852 people died in this catastrophe. This documentary series created by Discovery and Norwegian production company Monster will premiere in early 2020.
Last Friday, Telenor Group reported a preliminary holding of 95% of shares in the Finnish telco DNA. On August 21st, a bid was made for the outstanding shares in DNA as Telenor had in a previous deal secured 54% of the ownership.
As part of its’ digital transformation, Aller Media has purchased 80% of the digital media site Heartbeats, producing digital content (mainly culture, lifestyle and community), primarily podcasts.
The Swedish town of Malmö is getting ready to host Dreamhack Masters. 16 of the world´s most prominent CSGO teams will fight for the prize pool of $250 000. In relation to the tournament, the Nordic E-sport Summit will be held, featuring Mediavision as speakers.

Mediavision Press Release

Den 35:e upplagan av bokmässan i Göteborg har just avslutats. Även i år präglades den av den kraftiga omvandling som bokbranschen genomlever. I en alldeles färsk analys kan Mediavision slå fast att 17% av svenskarna idag abonnerar på någon ljudbokstjänst. Ljudbokskunderna är också större köpare av tryckta böcker jämfört de som inte abonnerar. 

Mediavision in the News

Bolagen som växer i takt med streaming-boomen
I kölvattnet av streamingboomen växer en drös med företag sig starkare. Flera svenska språkföretag, däribland Nordisk Undertext, ökar sin tillväxt och lönsamhet i hög hastighet när uppdragen från de internationella streamingjättarna ökar.


Industry Events

  • Nordic E-Sport Summit: 4 October 2019, Malmö, Sweden *
  • MIPCOM: 14-17 October 2019, Cannes, France
  • Nordic TV Summit: 24 October 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting