The Good, Bad, Ugly: Podcasting in 2021 and Beyond

Podcasting is a fast-growing and fast-changing industry that’s been greatly affected by the pandemic, but those COVID-related curveballs have brought some new and exciting changes to podcasting over the past year.

On this episode of The Podcast Club, Molly, Marcus and Adam share thoughts on the year in podcasting and look ahead at what trends they think are here to stay.

Episode Summary
With 2021 drawing to a close, The Podcast Club hosts huddle to reflect on the year and look ahead.

On this episode, Molly, Marcus and Adam discuss the role of transcripts and inclusivity in the podcast world, why podcasters need to be on YouTube and the increased awareness of branding and monetization opportunities in podcasting.

They note the lawsuit brought against SiriusXM for not having transcripts available for their podcasts.

“We are about to see a whole new world of inclusion,” Molly says. “I love seeing stuff like that because it just means we’re going to get more and more regulated in the industry. It’ll become more and more accessible.”

The hosts also discuss the expansion of video: podcasters are increasingly seeing the value in uploading to YouTube — a trend that will continue to grow in 2022.

“People just spend so much time on YouTube,” says Marcus.

Overall, it’s been an exciting few years in podcasting with many new developments, and The Podcast Club can’t wait to see what’s next.

Tune in to hear what they think about inclusion in podcasting, branded podcasting, the amount of work that goes into creating a quality podcast, and the swing from remote to in-person podcasting, and back.

Tools and tech mentioned in this episode:
✔️ Riverside
✔️ Podnews
✔️ RØDECaster Pro
✔️ MV7
✔️ SM7B
✔️ SquadCast
✔️ Cleanfeed
✔️ YouTube

Podcast Pro: Molly Ruland
🎙️ What she does: Molly is the founder and CEO of Heartcast Media, a full-service podcast production company and content creation lab based in Washington, D.C.

💡 Key quote: “As a business owner, or any a content creator, you’re so focused on the last week or the last episode, or payroll, or the numbers and you forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and be proud of what you have accomplished, and not so focused on what you didn’t get done.”

👋 Where to find her: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Podcast Pro: Marcus dePaula
🎙️ What he does: An audio engineer, podcast producer and website designer, Marcus runs Me Only Louder, a podcast production company in Franklin, Tenn.

💡 Key quote: “I think people are finally realizing, not just the opportunities, but also how serious you have to be to actually make something out of your podcast. You have to treat it like a business.”

👋 Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Podcast Pro: Adam Levin
🎙️ What he does: Adam is the manager of Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center and is the founder of Podcast Outfitters, which specializes in podcast equipment.

💡 Key quote: “That’s probably the biggest thing to come out of all of this, is services like this, that provide a great product to work with. It gives you a lot of the functionality that you had before, in a way that lets you reach more people.”

👋 Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Tips for Podcasters
Top takeaways from the episode

⭐ Make your podcast as accessible as possible. With increasing developments in AI, it’s easier than ever to include transcriptions with your podcasts. Even for the smallest podcast, the tools are available to make your podcast inclusive for people with hearing difficulties.

⭐ Expect to see an increase in branded podcasts. More businesses are understanding the value and effectiveness of branded podcasts in driving revenue and creating strategic relationships.

⭐ Remote isn’t a trend. Remote work is here to stay in some form or another, and this opens up a lot of doors for podcasters in terms of scheduling and the ability to book higher-quality guests.

⭐ Video content will continue to grow. It’s essential for a podcast to be putting content on YouTube for discoverability. The tools to support better video quality are constantly improving.

Episode Highlights
Inflection points from the show

00:08:07 Inclusion matters: Molly highlights the lawsuit against SiriusXM from the National Association for the Deaf and the Disability Rights Advocates, and the podcasters discuss how transcripts make a podcast more inclusive. Even unedited AI transcripts are helpful. “It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate, but it needs to be there.”

00:14:07 The power of branded podcasts: The biggest change Molly has seen in podcasting over the last few years is greater awareness of the value of podcasting.

00:15:47 Development tool: For people or brands who don’t want to start their own podcast, Molly sees an increasing desire to be a guest on other people’s podcasts, leading to higher quality guests. “Podcast advertising is gonna be at the forefront.”

00:17:05 Not just a hobby: Marcus is also seeing growing monetization in podcasting, but also the realization that making a good podcast isn’t easy. “You have to treat it like a business.”

00:19:21 Remote to in-person, and back to remote: The way people podcast changed over the course of the pandemic. Adam shares observations, including a significant drop in the purchase of USB microphones.

00:21:41 Tools for success: Adam notes the different platforms that have emerged or greatly improved since the early days of the pandemic, like Riverside, SquadCast and Cleanfeed.

00:23:49 Video is vital: With new webcam products with built-in AI for improved video quality in the pipeline, Marcus expects video to continue to thrive. The hosts talk about the importance of putting content on YouTube. “We’re going to be seeing more podcasts doing what we’re doing and putting their video content for a video version of the podcast on YouTube as well.”

00:31:39 Money books: Molly offers some business book recommendations, including “Building a Storybrand” by Donald Miller.

Top quotes

00:10:00 Molly: “Transcriptions don’t need to be 100% accurate at all … It’s just about getting the idea there and getting the SEO and the bulk of it, and people can read between the lines enough to get it done. So it doesn’t have to be 100% accurate, but it needs to be there.”

00:14:20 Molly: “I feel like in the beginning of our podcast, it was me explaining how a podcast can be used as a business tool, where now people are coming to me like, I know this can work, but we just need help with the production or we just need that expertise. But there’s a lot more people understanding the power of a branded podcast. They’re seeing it work.”

00:18:05 Marcus: “The average Joe podcasters, too, are becoming more aware. And there’s more and more noise you got to compete with now too in the space. So you really have to step up your game.”

00:20:10 Adam: “Now there’s this confusion about, you could do it in the platform, right? But now there’s these new technologies and you got some podcasters, for the people that are just getting into it, it’s harder to find out what the right solution is where it used to be pretty boilerplate.”

Sponsor Links:

Equipment Mentioned:

Marcus’s Microphone :
Molly’s Set Up :

Recorded on Riverside.
Get hooked up today:

Find on iTunes: