Close this search box.

The Evolution of Podcasting


From humble, casual beginnings with niche audiences to becoming dominant in the competitive media space, podcasting has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry in recent years. With the insight of Kelli Hurley, VP and Global Head of Revenue Partnerships for SiriusXM Media, and other dominant podcast creators, and tech gurus in the industry, CES 2023 gave us a chance to learn more about how podcasts are transforming media consumption, how brands connect with consumers, and how technology has played a role in this transformation and growth.

LeVar Burton, Emmy and NCAAP ( National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) award-winning host of Levar Burton Reads, turned to podcasting because it provided a “creative outlet” without the layers of complications in the media that control the process such as networks. “All I need is a story and a microphone, and there is no need to ask anyone for permission,” explained Burton, who has concluded his eleventh season of award-winning podcast content. The creator also emphasized the opportunity to use your imagination because the absence of visuals makes podcasts unique and intriguing to many in our screen-driven society. Listeners have downloaded over 25 million episodes of LeVar Burton Reads to date.

The rapid explosion of the podcast industry has also intrigued several brands to take advantage of advertising opportunities targeted at niche audiences and generating additional revenue for creators. Burton now considers his selected advertisers part of his program and embraces these partnerships over the perception that ads are a bothersome interruption to episodes. Burton also noted that advertisers are at an advantage with the recent boom of podcasting because they can target particular audiences.

Natrian Maxwell, GM of the Emerging Channels at The Trade Desk, focusing on the immersive inventory channels, pointed out that brand spending went from 20 million dollars in 2020 to 118 million dollars in 2022. He also emphasized the importance of media companies connecting creators to brands and supporting those strategic relationships and the need for advertising dollars to fuel the future of the podcast industry.

Maxwell touched on the importance of software technology in brand safety for advertisers. Technology partners can now transcode podcast audio and flag brand safety risks, assuring advertisers and creators that their content will remain relevant to listeners. “Technology is growing and getting really sophisticated as it pertains to podcasting,” Maxwell said.

With 4.8 million different podcasts already out there, the future of audio entertainment is boundless for consumers, advertisers, creators, and tech development professionals alike. The future of media consumption is ever-evolving and bright for podcasters.

driving (1)

Explore our topics