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
Kou Aizhe: Founder, Host | Story FM 故事FM
Yu Wanying: Founder, Host | Museelogue 博物志
And, as usual, your host, Aladin Farré.
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:
- Ximalaya claimed $100 million dollars of revenue in 2017.
- Cai Kangyong 蔡康永 earned 35 million RMB with his podcast Good Talk 好好说话.
- Zeng Pengyu 曾鹏宇 had his book content shamelessly stolen by the podcast Peaceful Goddess 平安娘娘.