The podcast industry is an industry forever in transition because no matter which statistics you look at, the percentage of people listening to podcasts versus consuming all other forms of traditional media is very small. Something like 25 to 45 percent of people listen to podcasts regularly, and many of them listen to only one or two a month. Because of this, many, if not most, if not all major podcast companies prioritize reaching that segment of the audience that doesn’t listen to podcasts or only listens to one or two a month.
This is what’s known to those in the industry as the discoverability issue, and they are spending lots and lots of money to solve it by merging products, by buying companies, and with wild PR schemes such as what iHeartRadio did with "The Ron Burgundy Podcast" last year when Will Ferrell in character as Ron Burgundy appeared on six different late-night talk shows in the same night.
The gains overall have been trending upward every quarter, but it has been very incremental growth. More podcast listeners means more revenue for podcast makers, and it hasn’t only been large companies trying to solve this issue; the podcast apps themselves have been trying to take a crack at it with personalized recommendations, better social media sharing of individual episodes, and curated podcast samples.
So it is with some hesitation when I say that Neil Moody and Oliver Wellington think they may have finally cracked it with Headliner, an app that turns podcast episodes or audio clips into easily shareable waveform videos that they call audiograms.
What they hit on is the fact that people who aren’t regular podcast listeners aren’t going to organically do something different from what they are already doing to get their content. “I think the fundamental issue with apps trying to solve discovery is you have to install the app or become part of another eco-system, and podcasting is still not mainstream,” Moody told me.
And the numbers so far are very encouraging: Since January 2018 over 100,000 podcasters have signed up to create videos of their shows, 60,000 to 70,000 of them are still active monthly users. The listeners are reporting that their download numbers have doubled since they’ve started using the service, and it has become a necessary tool for promotion. They’ve become entrenched enough in the industry that their service is now integrated with dozens of podcast hosts like Omny and Acast.
The platform is designed specifically for podcasts and allows for manual or automatic creation of waveform videos for audio clips as short as you want or as long as up to two hours. The user interface is simple to use, as videos can be made for any audio the user wants to upload or by searching for a specific podcast and episode from the directory or even by RSS feed. Once your audio is chosen, you control the trimming of the selected clip with slider bars, then choose the aspect ratio appropriate to the platform you’re sharing it to, such as Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Then you can customize any aspect of the video you want in minute detail, even customize any and all on-screen text.
Headliner is available in limited form on mobile, and there is a final editing screen only available for desktop with granular iMovie like controls with little touches that do that Apple platform one better and make creating the perfect podcast video an enjoyable experience. Once your video is done, you save it to your phone or desktop and upload it to your desired social platform and all your projects are saved natively in the cloud.
Unbelievably, the free edition of the service allows for unlimited video creation, but only the first 10 videos you make are free of a watermark. If you need more than that sans watermark, the pro edition is $12.95 a month and comes with some additional options like free use of Getty Images in your videos, which is a pretty valuable marketing tool.
Headliner is so simple to use it feels like something that should have been available years ago in one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments. As the user base continues to expand, the incremental growth of podcasts seems poised to grow faster as podcasts with video can now be watched directly from social media instead of downloading a new podcast app.
The content featured on https://entertainment.directv.com/ is editorial content brought to you by AT&T. While some of the programming discussed may now or in the future be available by our or our affiliates distribution services, the companies and persons discussed and depicted, and the authors and publishers of licensed content, are not necessarily associated with and do not necessarily endorse AT&T. When you click on ads on this site you may be taken to AT&T marketing pages that display advertising content. Content sponsored or co-created by programmers is identified as "Sponsored Content" or "Promoted Content."