Buzzfeed helped create a really empowering podcast culture. Now, there is just a sense of what next?
Buzzfeed recently announced that it was shutting down its podcasts in favour of focusing on its TV style productions. This was a huge blow to podcasting audiences and the podcasters themselves.
Podcasting has really gone from strength to strength in recent years. It’s more accessible than ever and more people are getting involved as a result of that. We have podcasting charts and they are helping to lead discussions on a myriad of different issues. However, just like with blogging, it may be more accessible than ever but in terms of being able to derive any income from podcasting it’s still an immensely difficult field. People just don’t see the value in paying for art or discussion driven content. It becomes highly difficult for businesses to be able to create a sustainable model from that. Buzzfeed though had arguably the biggest and best podcasting community and yet still, this could not stop the decision to close its doors.
“People just don’t see the value in paying for art or discussion driven content”
The podcasting community at Buzzfeed was diverse and representative and so the decision is ever more painful. Podcasting is hugely popular, but even this relatively accessible form of media is still dominated by white allocishet men. Buzzfeed was one of the only big breaks from that. It’s rare for such a large brand to be more diverse with podcasting and that’s why so many listeners are so upset by the news.
Hopefully the podcasters can find a new audio home and listeners will follow them. This though has been a huge upset for an industry that was really looking to find a way to make itself a viable platform. Podcasting still isn’t there yet, but it deserves and demands our attention because it produces some of the best content around.