One of the keys to a successful podcast is to find a support network of other like-minded people. The podcasting community provides a good way to meet this need, that is, through knowledge exchange and mutual inspiration and spiritual support. This is why many podcasting communities started and continue to flourish online and offline all over the world.
I have written a few articles before Podcast community But there has never been an in-depth study before, providing a more comprehensive overview of the overall landscape.That’s why in speaker We recently decided to investigate community organizers to gather information about the currently active podcast community. In this article, we will look at some of the main conclusions of our research.
Why was 2012 a catalyst for Facebook?
As shown in the figure below, since 2012, Facebook groups have seen significant linear growth.This is especially interesting because people expect this to happen in 2014 Launched Apple iOS 8, It introduced the podcast application as the default, non-deletable fixture on the iPhone. This was also the year when the podcast “Serial” became popular. As we will see later, this growth in the community around 2012 also occurred on the Meetup platform.
When we look at the names of the oldest Facebook groups, we can see trends in a very wide range of podcast topics.
This The largest podcast community There are also often these broad categories, although some of the newer groups have more “niche” themes, such as “Podcast Editing Club” and “She Podcast” (for female podcasts).
If we look at the top ten groups with the most posts in the past 30 days, we will find that several of them are promotional in nature. These groups are the places where podcasters share their latest episodes, with little participation. Self-promotion in the podcasting community It’s very common that other moderators will do their best to prevent this from going beyond their group, as we will see in a few examples.
Some of the larger, more active, and well-controlled groups include:
The group was originally intended as a channel for attendees of the Podcast Sports Conference (beginning in 2014). It has been expanded to cover all levels of podcasts and queries. All conference co-founders are active in this group, and this group has a strict policy not to self-promote or post links to podcasts.
The group was created and hosted by Helen Zaltzman and initially focused on British audiences, where they held parties, but expanded the scope. There are regular management posts that allow people to comment on their latest episode (thus preventing over-promotion) and encourage cross-promotion between podcasts. The tone centered around the group creator (comedy podcaster) is usually humorous.
Compared with other groups, this focus on monetization is less, attracting a group of more creative podcasters who have passed the first episode, which usually takes about 6 months to two years. The group creator Jeremy Enns provided the beginning of the conversation, and the group’s tone was relaxed, set by initial screening questions about favorite ice cream flavors.
This is a good place to ask audio-related questions and find the next audio editor. Group creator Steve Stewart suggests that if you are looking for a producer, please contact him so that he can share with the group.
She Podcasts bills itself as “a safe place for women and those who identify with women or identify with non-dualism, podcasts, or are currently setting up podcasts to ask questions, provide support, share resources, win, and advocate for everyone else and whatever they like something else”. This group is the third largest Facebook group in our research, which is especially impressive when you consider that it is a women-only group and the membership criteria are limited to creators.
What can we learn from Meetup to keep the community alive?
The nature of the gathering group is local and face-to-face. We define this type of platform as if the Meetup is coming or has occurred within the past six months, the platform is considered an “active” platform.
If not accepted by the organizers, these communities may be short-lived and often disband. If subscription fees are no longer paid, they will also disappear from the platform. This means that the data we collect represent only the groups that are still alive today.
When looking at the data, this feature of the Meetup group is worth keeping in mind. An example is the Meetup group created over time in the chart below. At first glance, in terms of the early growth surge before the introduction of iOS8 and the “serial effect” around 2013, it seems to exhibit the same unusual as Facebook The pattern is in 2014. However, on further thinking, it makes sense that groups created before these events would benefit from the subsequent surge in popularity and attention to podcasts. It is likely that many groups created before 2013 disappeared before they could benefit from them.
As expected, the United States dominates the number of Meetups groups, and we can attribute this to the fact that both podcasts and Meetups started in the United States and their popularity in these countries.
Judging from the proportion of members who actually register for Meetups, we can see that many smaller groups have a high degree of participation in the group with the highest participation.
The largest active groups are all in the United States, and we can notice the concentration of groups on the west and east coasts.
Although in terms of podcasting online communities, Meetup and Facebook are still the most popular platforms, recently community organizers have been using other alternatives to build podcasting communities, namely Slack, Telegram, Google Groups, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Discord.
What are the podcast communities to choose from?
Google groups seem to be particularly popular among the broadcasters, where they overlap with the podcasting community. New York Public Radio It is an email invitation-only community, with more than 3000 members and a monthly broadcast club where members can meet and criticize each other’s work.This inspired the creation British Audio Network It aims to bring together “all corners of the UK audio industry to encourage dialogue and opportunities for all”.
Telegram is a messaging service similar to Whatsapp, but with some additional features around group review, making it a popular choice for online communities. Syndicated podcast The Telegram group created by Pato Lopardo is a Spanish-speaking podcasting community that includes members from all over Latin America and Spain.
This podcast with podcast Subreddits are places where podcast hosts and listeners gather to share knowledge and discussions. As a platform, Reddit can sort out the most popular and useful content from user contributions by sorting posts based on likes.
Although Slack was originally a communication platform purely for teamwork, many community organizers have taken advantage of its popularity, especially among tech-savvy people. Now There are reportedly more than 2,000 recorded groups.
#podcast It is the largest note group with more than 600 users, and uses Slack’s RSS feed integration to extract recent episodes from member podcasts and podcast-related news and articles.
Podcast Association Is a paid membership community, in addition to other resources, also contains a Slack group, in which the creator Daniel J Lewis provides quick and direct support and advice.
Similar to Slack, Discord is geared towards the gaming community and benefits from close connections with Reddit and Patreon. It has a “voice only” channel, allowing users to communicate via audio instead of text.
Pod Team It is a group announced for the first time on the r/podcasts subreddit. It is a place to “get insights quickly and directly through others, criticism and live discussion technology and podcast culture”. “Podcast Issues” It’s another group set up by podcast critic Will Williams for podcast creators and fans, as well as a dedicated channel for her Patreon supporters.
This Podcast technical resources This group is the most compelling group on Linkedin, with more than 4000 members. In terms of the nature of the platform, it is one of the more professional and business-oriented communities.
In short, the community landscape of podcasting is booming. Although most activities are focused on Facebook and Meetup, more communities have recently emerged on various other platforms. These platforms provide newer alternatives that can cater to slightly different audiences or communication preferences while still successfully attracting the podcasting community. With the exception of some recently created groups, many of these groups have relatively wide-ranging concerns-which shows that organizers can take advantage of this potential opportunity. A surprising study showed that all online communities are using proprietary platforms-for example, no noteworthy self-hosted forums have been found.
If you want to browse the data we analyzed in detail, you can use our data visualizationWe have also packaged many of the information in the research into an infographic, which you can find below. Please let us know in the comments if there are other groups worth highlighting that we haven’t mentioned yet!
Footnote: For the purposes of this research, we only analyzed the podcast community—not including fan groups, listeners, or product-centric communities. The data for this study was captured during December 2018.
In addition, because Facebook limits search results to 100 entries, our data sample for this platform is affected by this restriction-which means that some smaller, more regional groups are not included. However, all the most prominent podcast groups are included in the selected sample.