#16 Metacast: A Podcast Episode about Podcasts


In this episode, the Middle Earth Podcast invites podcast hosts to talk about their favorite subject: themselves. Podcasting is rapidly becoming the next boom industry in China, with approximately 80 million daily downloads of podcasts and a projected audience of 486 million total.

When it comes to putting a number on the industry, however, things get less clear. Some estimate that China’s podcast industry is worth upward of $7 billion, citing a report by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television. However, this figure is likely somewhat off the mark — the $7 billion figure refers only to “pay for knowledge” programming, that is, educational shows that consumers pay for directly. A more comprehensive number that takes into account free content or podcasts supported by advertisements remains elusive.

By comparison, podcasters based in the U.S. made an estimated $314 million in 2017, a number that is projected to double by 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. “pay for knowledge” industry is estimated to have earned $12 billion in 2016, according to our peer podcast also available on the Sinica Network, TechBuzz China by Pandaily.


Joshua Thomas Ogden-Davis: Writer, Podcaster | Ximalaya 喜马拉雅

Josh’s Weibo | Josh’s Ximalaya account | Josh’s WeChat: 与老外交朋友 | Josh’s Twitter

Kou Aizhe: Founder, Host | Story FM 故事FM

Aizhe’s Weibo | Aizhe’s Twitter | Story FM’s website | Story FM’s WeChat: 故事FM

Yu Wanying: Founder, Host | Museelogue 博物志

Wanying’s Weibo | Wanying’s Instagram | Wanying’s Twitter | Museelogue’s website

And, as usual, your host, Aladin Farré.

Aladin’s LinkedIn | Aladin’s Twitter

Middle Earth is made by China Compass Productions. If you have a China-themed film project, please get in touch!

Recommended watching and listening:

Digitally China, a podcast about China’s tech innovation.

Chinese Cooking Demystified, a YouTube cooking show.

日谈公园, a Chinese podcast about China’s culture today.

忽左忽右, another Chinese podcast about China’s culture today.

Learning to listen: China’s billion-dollar podcast industry, on ChinaEconTalk, a Sinica Network podcast.

Answers to the episode quiz:

  1. Ximalaya claimed $100 million dollars of revenue in 2017.
  2. Cai Kangyong 蔡康永 earned 35 million RMB with his podcast Good Talk 好好说话.
  3. Zeng Pengyu 曾鹏宇 had his book content shamelessly stolen by the podcast Peaceful Goddess 平安娘娘.