Podcast Movement 2022

This week’s newsletter is continuing the tradition of inviting members of our community to write From The Curator’s Desk, and for this edition, I’m happy to hand it over to Josephine Karianjahi , who is cofounder and codirector of Africa Podfest, bringing her expertise in new media, partnerships and strategy to African podcasting.

Please send your guest writing pitches for this section to rose@barazalab.com if you’re interested in writing this section and you have something of interest to share to our community — a trend you’ve noticed or something you’d like us to think about. (Baraza Curator Christine Mungai is away on extended leave).

~ The Baraza Team

Notes from the Podcast Movement 2022 in Dallas

By: Josephine Karianjahi

I’ve had the privilege of hanging out by the graffitied wall at Baraza Media Lab and I know how outside-inside and übercool it feels to take a picture against the backdrop of that fabulous space. I‘ve streamed live podcast events in front of that wall several times and yet it was surreal to fly the Kenyan flag from Baraza Media Lab – which doubles as the Africa Podfest HQ – and to speak about the African podcasting opportunity at Podcast Movement 2022 (PM) in Dallas, the biggest podcasting conference in the world. Using data and insights from the Africa Podfest held in early 2022 and Baraza Media Lab research I am thrilled to share my reflections through Barua Ya Baraza.

  1.     It’s Time For Africa: So people say that growth within the existing podcast audience is slowing down: those who are already listening, are at max capacity – even the super listeners who take in 5 hours or more of podcasts every day. This calls for new audiences outside the regions where a majority of the global podcast industry is concentrated – the Global South specifically. For the first time ever, Africa was ably represented during the Industry Track of the conference with Africa Podfest, SemaBOX Africa and Afripods taking part. These two key reflections allow us to assert that African podcasters and African podcast audiences are integral to the global podcast ecosystem and can no longer be ignored.

 

  1.     Get Ready for Generation Alpha: Generation Alpha, those born after 2010, are the fastest growing group of podcast listeners. In his keynote presentation at PM, Edison Research’s Gabriel Soto, said “By planting seeds while they’re young, it could grow podcasting for the future”. We believe so too. Africa Podfest is voting with our feet, and is a founding member of KaBrazen Consortium, which brings together the powerhouse content studio LAM Sisterhood’s KaBrazen podcast and Nairobi-based studio Za Kikwetu Productions. Our first project together is further development of the effervescent KaBrazen podcast which features brazen stories of African women for our little ones with new episodes in English and Kiswahili.

 

  1.     Vodcasts (Video Podcasts) Are Growing: At PM, I heard many podcasters confirm that they first reached their favourite podcasters through YouTube and Tiktok. This tracks with what we’ve found: that 10.2% of podcast listeners in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa get their podcasts from YouTube. YouTube executives attending the conference confirmed expanded plans to support podcasting. So, although the ear-hugging audio immersive experience of podcasts cannot be easily matched, podcasters must not underestimate the effectiveness of connecting with their audiences using video rich platforms. 

 

  1.     Smart Partnerships Pay Off: Starting Africa Podfest, which is an African woman-led podcast startup, in Q4 2019 was not for the faint hearted. Quartz Africa reported in 2021 that just ‘$1 in every $15 raised in the African startup ecosystem goes to women-owned tech startups’. Maintaining our search for better audio and deeper data about African podcasting in this funding environment is expensive work. We have pitched, crowdsourced, sold tickets, and created solid partnerships with like minded funders at the individual and institutional level. Kudos to Baraza Media Lab which supported our 2021 and 2022 research season and Africa Podcast Days. We are proud Baraza members, not only because the coffee is unmatched, but also because they make sure tech based media founders like Africa Podfest can thrive on the global stage.   

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In the meantime, here’s:

What We’re Reading

Podcasting in Africa is on the rise. Why is it not profitable yet? Podcasting lends itself to people’s love of audio but as with all media efforts, ithas to pay for itself if it is to be sustainable. Surveys show that podcasting is now a multibillion dollar industry that reached more than 424 million listeners around the world in 2022. That growth in the number and reach of podcasts is mirrored in Africa but the money side is slow and doesn’t match the global picture. Daniel Adeyemi discusses some of the reasons why with  Baraza Media Lab’s Executive Director, Maurice Otieno here.

What We’re Watching:  

On Netflix – Look Both Ways: Wanuri Kahiu makes her Hollywood debut as a director with the rom-com Look Both Ways released on Netflix in August 2022. Although it is described as an American drama written by April Prosser, this story about parallel lives feels really familiar and resonates with audiences across the world: it is one of Netflix’s top ten most watched films. Kahiu’s previous films – “From a Whisper,” and “Rafiki” have also made waves.

What We’re Listening To:

How ready is East Africa for electric vehicles? Both Kenya and Uganda are making efforts to switch to electric cars. Apart from reducing air pollution from fossil fuel engines, both countries are well endowed with renewable energy and would be able to reduce their fossil fuel imports and save some money. Quite a few cars, motorcycles and buses are already on the roads of these East African countries but what else needs to be done in order to make the switch more wide=spread? Africa Daily has the full story.

As always, 

Christine Mungai

Curator | Baraza Media Lab

 


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