Recently, Headliner sent out a survey via our newsletter and social media. We asked podcasters for their honest opinions on AI in podcasting. We aimed to understand how AI fits into the podcasting world and to learn how to improve AI for podcasters.
Today, we are sharing those results with you – the podcasting community.
Every month, we talk to hundreds of podcasters. We get some incredible insight into what it takes to be a podcaster. We also get ideas of how we can better serve podcasters and the wider creative community.
Recently, we have been hearing AI pop-up more and more in conversations. AI is such a hot, prevalent topic in today’s digital world.
Podcasters recognize the value AI can provide. However, podcasters are still hesitant, and we get that! As creators, it goes against our nature to let a machine take the reins and run with something we love. Yet, at the same time, AI does take some things off our plates, streamline processes, and even do some of those tasks we don’t care to do.
This blog post will walk you through our findings and shed some light on how podcasters are using AI.
Are podcasters using AI?
Are podcasters using AI? The short answer is yes.
In our survey, we had 248 responses. Nearly 66% of those respondents reported using AI to help create, edit, and/or promote their podcasts.
Respondents included podcasters from ALL over the world and at all different podcasting “ages.” Some were just starting out, and some had been around since podcasting’s beginning!
What AI are podcasters using?
Next, we wanted to learn what AI podcasters are using.
Now, granted, we polled podcasters using our newsletter and social media – so that may have made these results a little biased.
How is AI used in podcasting?
Next, we looked at how AI is used in podcasting.
In our survey, 63% of podcasters reported using AI in multiple ways. The most common way podcasters use AI is to help promote their podcast (46% of respondents). Creation/Prep-Work followed at 29%, and Editing was close behind at 24%.
We further segmented the data to see the exact tasks podcasters use AI for during the promotion phase. We did this because the promotion bucket had the most write-ins and, as a result, had a significant variance in answers.
We found many podcasters use AI to create assets for social media or podcast art, such as episode art.
How we came up with those percents
At Headliner, we break podcasting into 3 main phases and often refer to them as “buckets.”
- Creating – Creating includes everything you do before pressing record and recording your actual podcast.
- Editing – Editing covers everything you do, from pressing “Stop” on your recording up until you go to post or upload.
- Promotion – Promotion is everything you do for your podcast post-upload. It includes social posts, emailing people, and basically, anything you do to get people to listen to your podcast.
These buckets help define the podcasting process and allow us to better slice and dice this data set. To get the percentages above, our lovely writer turned to her favorite tool, Excel, and created some nifty pivot tables. (She did this process several times, so if you see a pie chart here, assume you should copy-paste this methodology.)
Of course, Podcasters are the experts!
Next, we wanted to see how comfortable podcasters are with AI.
Being a podcaster requires you to be an all-knowing expert on many different things (both directly and indirectly related to your podcast).
When it comes to AI, we found podcasters are no different too!
Podcasters had relatively high scores when asked to rate their knowledge and expertise. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “Novice/New” and 10 being “Pro,” the average podcaster rated themselves as being about a 7.
The Do’s and Do Not’s
More qualitatively, we asked podcasters about their likes and dislikes regarding AI. From this, we learned more about how AI fits into the podcasting process while gleaning direct insight into how AI can be enhanced to fit podcasters’ needs.
Our write-ins were overwhelmingly positive and reflected that, generally speaking, podcasters are excited about AI and see ways AI can be used to help or improve their processes.
The most common sentiment surrounding AI was that AI tools help save time and reduce workload, especially in areas podcasters do not particularly love (like promotion). Podcasters see a lot of value in tools that help streamline the post-production process and the ability to help create content.
A lot of podcasters also approach AI from a collaborative perspective. They use AI to kickstart the creative process – like if you were to brainstorm with a team. Several podcasters wrote that AI helps them overcome obstacles, like writer’s block or idea/topic generation.
Interestingly enough, we found some correlations between AI usage and other stuff we’ve reported on in the past.
In a past survey, we asked podcasters about time spent and enjoyment levels at each phase of the podcasting process (Prep, Editing, and Promotion). In that survey, we learned a lot. We were interested to see podcasters REALLY don’t enjoy the “Promotion” phase of podcasting.
So, it’s cool to see podcasters using AI to help do and not avoid those tasks!
The Do Not’s
From these write-ins, we had a few negative comments bubble up that shed more light on podcasters’ pitfalls and challenges with AI.
Overall, negative sentiment was primarily centered around usability challenges, including the need for careful prompt engineering and difficulties in navigation or chatting with AI. Inauthentic creativity and “sounding robotic” emerged, as well as transparency concerns regarding how user-provided data is utilized, with some noting gaps or inaccuracies in the AI’s responses.
We also received a few write-ins that we found rather humorous and didn’t know how to take – but we decided to share.
“It sometimes seems a bit American!”
Anyway, do with that info what you will.
Putting it all together.
Overall, podcasters are using AI and treat it like a teammate. AI does not take away from their creative processes but is there to help and streamline when needed. While certain things serve as roadblocks, like prompting and cost, podcasters are excited about AI. They are enjoying using it as the latest tool in their podcasting stack.
AI as a creative ally
Listening to podcasters, it’s easy to see that AI is on everyone’s mind. It is these conversations that inspired us to create this survey. We wanted a way to reach out to the podcasting community to understand better how AI fits into the world of podcasting while learning more about podcasters’ sentiments and experiences with AI first-hand.
Podcasters recognize AI’s potential and see much value in using AI for their podcast. However, there are still challenges to using AI. Some are worried that using AI is detractive to the creative process and can take away from the podcasting experience – after all, as creators, we value our unique touch in every project. However, AI is not about replacing that creativity; it’s about enhancing and collaborating.
AI can relieve us from mundane tasks we don’t care for and help make us more efficient in our work, especially in those “not-so-fun” areas. Aka, AI gives us more time to focus on the parts of podcasting we love the most!
With AI, you’re not surrendering your creativity; you’re amplifying it.
We hope you found these results as interesting as us. Maybe you even walked away with some ideas on how you can use AI as your podcasting partner… Who knows! Regardless, we want to know. Leave us a comment or tweet your thoughts to us.
As always, happy podcasting from the team “hear” at Headliner.