With podcast listening on the rise, there’s all the more reason to be excited about what’s coming out of Australia. On February 27, we unveiled a slate of original and exclusive content, as well as the return of Spotify’s Sound Up Australia, our five-day residential podcasting workshop that helps to elevate and amplify First Nations’ voices.
At Spotify Australia HQ, we announced three new podcasts: Spotify original sex and relationship podcast Search Engine Sex, hosted by Sound Up alumni Rowdie Walden; the second season of VICE Extremes, hosted by Julian Morgans; and the weekly youth news podcast Generation Betoota. This lineup marks the first of many anticipated announcements to come out of Australia.
“Our goal is to become the number one audio platform in the world, providing the best in audio content—customized and accessible, on demand everywhere,” said Cecilia Qvist, Spotify’s Global Head of Markets. “The role our global markets play in this expansion is pivotal and we look forward to making many more announcements in this space.”
According to Edison Research and Triton Digital (2019), the number of weekly Australian podcast listeners increased by 50% over the last three years, an exciting indicator of steady growth in the world of podcasts. To celebrate the launch of these shows, here’s what Rachel Corbett, head of podcasts at “Mamamia”; Clancy Overell, editor and host of “The Betoota Advocate”; Julian Morgans; and Rowdie Walden have to say about the growth of podcasts and the need for more indigenous voices.
When did you start to notice an uptick in podcast listening in Australia?
Julian: Podcasting seemed to go mainstream around four to five years ago. Remember when Serial became a big deal? I think that was a turning point.
Clancy: The first time I noticed a boost in podcast listening was almost 10 years ago, when Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington were making waves all the way to rural Australia. From that point I feel like everyone has liked the idea of podcasts.
Why do you think more Aussies are tuning into podcasts now than ever?
Julian: I just think public awareness has hit critical mass. For a while I used to tell friends about podcasts, and they’d be like, “How do you listen to these things?” That doesn’t happen anymore. Also, you can listen to a podcast while doing something else. That’s a big plus.
Rachel: You don’t have to have your bum on the couch to follow a true crime story or hear the latest news. You can be walking your dog, doing the shopping or driving your car. I think this, coupled with the continued improvement in audio quality, has made taking time to listen to a podcast feel like self-care; and when people feel like consuming your content is a “treat,” that keeps them coming back.
How important are Indigenous voices to audio experiences?
Rowdie: Podcasting is such a fast-growing industry that it’s important we keep the push for diversity and inclusion in this space as well. It’s incredibly white, and as the oldest storytellers, it’s important we have representation in this space. While Search Engine Sex isn’t what you’d think of when you think “Indigenous podcast,” it’s important to show that we can exist in other spaces. Black voices can be mainstream.
Learn more about how Spotify is continuing to amplify First Nations’ voices through Sound Up Australia.