Sometimes there is news in the podcasting space that doesn’t necessarily affect African or developing market podcasters. Announcements like this are a big example.
But the month of April has been an interesting time for podcast tech announcements that actually could have an impact on the African continent. If the arrival of Spotify earlier this year was an indicator of things to come, these three innovations will do a lot more for the growth of African podcasting. Let’s jump into them.
Facebook Enters the Podcast Game
Facebook announced that their app will include a podcast player, as part of an upcoming set of “social audio experiences” within the next few months.
As there has yet to be a podcast platform to own the podcast audience market share on the majority Android-continent, Facebook’s introduction is big news! According Forbes , Facebook had 139 million users a month in Africa in 2018, 98% of whom connected via mobile. This was in 2018!!. The opportunity to reach new audiences through Facebook are huge! So watch this space!
Apple Podcasts Offers New Monetization Opportunity
Apple is up next. The tech giant announced the launch of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions to facilitate the discovery of “premium subscriptions.” Starting in May, listeners worldwide can pay to subscribe to podcasts and enjoy ad-free listening, additional content, and “early access to new series.
I have already written about the opportunities for podcast monetization in Africa. So this Apple announcement offers new opportunities.
Again, Africa is Android territory, but the socioeconomics around African podcasting have it that iOs users have been the earliest adopters of podcasts on the continent (I’ll write more about this soon).
Twitter Spaces Is Here And More Accessible Than Clubhouse
Clubhouse, a social networking app based on audio-chat, was all the rage in Q1 of this year. It seemed like everyone was on it. Twitter rolled out its own version of the platform on its app in April, calling it Twitter Spaces. (I should note that part of Facebook’s answer to Clubhouse, “Live Audio Rooms” was also announced).
Twitter Spaces is important for the continent because Clubhouse is an iOs-only app. And with just under 80 percent of African mobile users on the Android platform, Clubhouse was leaving a lot of people out. Twitter Spaces allows for Android and iOs users, making this audio social media app accessible to all.
There we go. Big news from Facebook, Twitter and Apple! Of course, I am taking the stance of wait-and-see to see how African podcasters and our audiences take up these platforms. If you’re an African podcaster I’d love to hear if and how you plan to use these platforms to your advantage!
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