Hot Pod’s Nick Quah: ‘We’re in a moment when we can see explosive growth’

Podcast industry observer Nick Quah doesn’t think we’re in a “podcasting bubble.”

But, he said, “we are in a podcasting attention bubble.”

Nick is the editor of the email newsletter Hot Pod. In less than nine months his publication has turned into the de facto industry journal for podcasting, becoming a must-read for just about everyone working in the industry. He talked with host Adam Sachs on episode #81 of The Wolf Den podcast.

The “attention bubble” is evident in the surge of press coverage dedicated to podcasting beginning last fall, especially in response to the breakout success of Serial. Nick groups the so-called “Serial effect” with several other important events and trends for podcasting in the last year, including the launch of the Wolfpop network, Radiotopia’s continued growth, more money being invested and creative partnerships being forged, and the exodus of executive talent from public radio into private podcasting.

Although Nick thinks we’re seeing that attention bubble begin to wain, this isn’t an indicator for any kind of decline in the medium.

“I think we’re planting the seeds–the industry–for long term growth, for a business to be put in place, and new business models to be put in place, and tried, to see if they can work,” Nick said.

Even the most significant events of the past year, “are all not watershed moments, because watershed moments need mass understanding of what the moment is. But these are small incremental things that accumulate into something remarkable.”

Nick elaborated that he takes a long view of history. “I feel like it’s the nature of the podcast to be a slow but steady growth industry,” he explained. ”The history of podcasting’s growth hasn’t been explosive, but has been extremely reliable and steady. And, now, we’re in a moment when we can see explosive growth.”

Looking to what he hopes for the future of podcast, Nick is thinking big. He doesn’t want podcasting to become the audio equivalent of “a network of highly specific blogs.” Rather, “it’s a world where you can talk about Earwolf or Gimlet in the same way as AMC, ABC or NBC.”

Listen to the whole interview to hear how podcasting got Nick through a tough time in his life, how he managed one particularly hot tip, and his advice for new podcasters.

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