NZ largest podcast study: Podcast Summit

06 May, 2024
NZ largest podcast study: Podcast Summit

For its third consecutive year, The New Zealand Podcasting Summit 2024 is set to take place Saturday 11 May at AUT’s city campus. Podcasting continues to be an accessible avenue for Kiwis to connect, be heard and stay informed. This year’s summit. Includes sessions on the ethics of true crime podcasting, elevating access to te reo and tikanga Māori and the art and craft of interviewing.

The Summit will also debut the most extensive overview and history of podcasting in New Zealand to date, as Lecturer Dr Lewis Tennant shares his research ‘19 years, 724 shows, 48,071 episodes: Detailing Podcasting in NZ’.

Tennant, who runs the successful ‘Dr Tennant’s Verbal Highs podcast’ and developed the summit says it’s great to see the steady growth within the podcast space.

“As we’re gearing up for the submit, it’s so exciting to bring both the listeners but also podcasters together, because at its core, it's all about fostering connections and bringing people together. The podcast ecosystem is blossoming in Aotearoa, so it's truly gratifying to host an event that celebrates that.

“Based on my own research, I’ve looked into the expansion of podcasting in Aotearoa, from a specialist medium pioneered by independent producers to a desirable and growing sector of the local media market. We looked at 723 podcasts across 13 categories, providing nearly 10,000 data points: indicating continued growth in the space.

“Despite recent setbacks in the media space, with outlets like Newshub closing, all indicators suggest that Kiwis are continuing to actively listen to and engage with audio content."

Tennant conducted a study of 723 podcasts spanning 13 categories, yielding nearly 10,000 data points. This research is particularly noteworthy in New Zealand due to the scarcity of data on the podcasting industry, which typically focuses on audiences and revenue over producers and content.

Key research findings:

  • As of March 2024, the New Zealand Podcast Directory tracks 798 podcasts, a significant number for a country of just over five million people. Created in late 2018, the directory reflects the growing prominence of podcasts in New Zealand's media landscape.
  • The first decade of podcast production in New Zealand was driven mainly by independent producers, with media organisations joining in from 2015 onwards.
  • The first highly produced podcast in New Zealand by NZME debuted ‘Mad Monday’, NRL a rugby league podcast, in September 2015, a time where narrative non-fiction dominated the genres. This was followed by RNZ releasing ‘First Person’ later in the year.
  • The most popular style of podcasts (41%) in NZ follows an interview format, reflecting its popularity globally - most likely due to its lower barrier to entry compared to narrative non-fiction podcasts.
  • The number of new NZ podcasts peaked in 2020, consistent with global trends, and the average number of episodes produced per podcast is 68.5.

Additional findings from this research will be presented at the Summit.

Tickets for the NZ Podcasting Summit are available online.