A very interesting analysis, but one thing I don’t see explicitly mentioned is the growth of genres. A few years ago, I feel like the model for podcast formats was pretty limited. There were a few repackaged NPR shows that broke that mold, but weekly, hourish long episodes seemed to be the norm.
I think with so many new shows launching, we’re seeing more willingness to play with the format. Shows like The Daily from the NY Times are relatively short, and we’ve seen an explosion in the format. And more and more narrative format shows are slowing the pace to a monthly or bi-weekly schedule and posting longer episodes.
I’m seeing fewer new shows with the “two people talk at each other for an hour” format, and more shows deciding on a length and cadence around the kind of information they want to deliver.
In my mind, it’s no different than television offering sitcoms, 24-hour news, and movie channels. The medium is maturing and offering a wider array of options to cater to listeners’ preferences.