Podcast Trends

30 Brands That Made the Biggest Impact on the Podcast Industry in 2021

Last updated on: 
January 18, 2022

2021 was a busy year for the podcast industry and the brands working within it. The Quill team has listed 30 brands that have made the biggest impact on the podcast industry throughout 2021.

As we near the end of 2021, the Quill team put together a list of 30 brands that made the biggest impact on the podcast industry throughout 2021. 

As a reminder, this is just a small list of companies that have made an impact on the industry. There is a never-ending list of amazing brands out there that are changing the landscape but it would probably take us until 2022 to name them all! So please keep in mind that this is not a definitive list of podcast brands. 

And with that, let’s get into it our list (in no particular order): 


1. Podnews

A name that if you’re not aware of in the podcast industry, you’re living under a rock. 

Podnews is your go-to source for daily briefings on the podcast industry, press releases, and articles or op-eds on the audio landscape. This brand has never skipped a beat when it comes to podcasting and they continue to provide their readers with thought-provoking, timely, and engaging content. 

As the information hub of the podcast industry, Podnews has made a big impact in 2021 and will continue to do so for years to come. 


2. Pacific Content

Acquired by Rogers Media in 2019, Pacific Content is a stand-out podcast production agency working with brands like Dell, Slack, Facebook, Ford, and many more. 

The content creators don’t only make a noticeable impact through the incredible podcasts that they produce for clients, but also through their unique and compelling blogs they publish on a weekly basis. The Pacific Content team shares articles that truly give podcasters and brands insight into how to produce better shows and how the podcast landscape operates. 


3. Buzzsprout

Trusted by over 100,000 podcasters, Buzzsprout has made waves in the audio industry as an easy-to-use and powerful hosting tool. 

The company is constantly releasing valuable articles and statistics for the industry to consume and gain a better understanding of audio in general. In addition to this, in 2021 Buzzsprout announced their Canva integration which makes it easy for podcasters to create beautiful cover art that draws the attention of listeners. 


4. Podchaser

Ever finished a podcast and went on a hunt for a new one but couldn’t find what you were looking for? 

Podchaser is helping listeners and podcasters everywhere by making shows more accessible and discoverable. The platform also provides custom reviews, curated lists, updates on guest appearances, and ratings and reviews, so as a listener, you know what you want to listen to. And as a podcaster, you’re boosting the visibility of your show. 

Quill is constantly using Podchaser as a valuable resource for discovery when it comes to our clients’ podcasts, and because of this - they continue to make a large impact on the audio landscape. 


5. SquadCast

The popular remote recording software, SquadCast, has continued to make moves throughout 2021 in the podcast industry. 

Early in the year, the company announced their studio-quality video recording capabilities. They also released Cloud Studio 4.5 which includes features like noise cancellation, one-click audio mastering, new API integrations, and workflow processes. SquadCast users can now record with up to 10 guests whereas previously, the limit was four participants. 

SquadCast also has incredible social media accounts, specifically their Twitter, where they’re constantly engaging with new and active users and building a powerful podcast community. 


6. Sounds Profitable

Sounds Profitable, from Podnews, has been consistently growing this past year with over 3,500 active subscribers and sponsored by some of the biggest names in podcasting such as NPR, PRX, and Megaphone. 

The newsletter places a focus on delving deep into the technical side of podcast advertising and how we can make it accessible for all. Content is also split up to make it easily searchable on the website from deep dives into various podcast products, the Sounds Profitable Podcast, articles archive, and the Podscape which is an overview of the entire podcast industry landscape that continuously gets updated as new players enter the market.  


7. Acast

Acast, a leading podcast advertising and monetization company, has continued month over month to make an impact on the audio industry. 

In no particular order, here are a few of the releases, launches, partnerships, and announcements that they made: 

  • Acquired Radio Public in February 
  • Partnered with Podchaser to add 31,000 podcasts to their database
  • Introduced Acast+ which includes new subscription tools to help podcasters monetize
  • Launched Sponsored Stories which are longer, more dynamic and immersive advertising opportunities 
  • Partnered with Crooked Media
  • Powered the official “House of Gucci: Interview Special” podcast
  • Teamed up with Samsung to distribute over 30,000 podcasts directly to Galaxy users 


8. Riverside.fm

Founded in 2019, Riverside has taken the remote podcast and video recording landscape by storm. 

In 2021, the company announced Riverside 2.0 which offers automatic transcripts post-recording, an out-of-beta iPhone app, Magic Editor and their AI Speaker View which highlights active speaking users. In addition to all of this, Riverside also raised $9.5M. So yeah, we think it’s clear why they’re on our list! 


9. LWC Studios

LWC is a full service digital media studio that focuses on idea development all the way to distribution of shows. Their mission “stems from a mandate to see and recount things differently, using digital narrative techniques.” 

In 2021, the company rebranded to what it’s known as today, LWC Studios and was also featured on Oprah Daily in her list of “The Best Spanish and Latino Podcasts for Learning—and Laughing.” 


10. Podcast Insights

Looking for the best podcast audio equipment? Podcast Insights has you covered. 

The company has quickly become one of the industry-leading resources for podcasters. Their  website includes a variety of guides, manuals and courses that newbies can tap into. The company was founded by CEO Ross Winn, who has been helping people with podcasts and audio content since 2014. 

Podcast Insights continues to make a large impact on the audio industry by providing educational resources for podcasters of all levels. 


11. Audacy

Incorporated in 1968, Audacy has become the second largest radio company in America. They currently own 235 radio stations across 48 media markets. 

Some of their subsidiaries include CBS News Radio and Pineapple Street Studios. Whether you want to tune into breaking news, or find new show recommendations, Audacy is one of our go-to platforms that we consistently recommend.  


12. Podcast Movement

Founded by Jared Easly and Dan Franks, Podcast Movement is the biggest podcasting conference and a must-attend for all professionals in our industry. 

As COVID-19 hit in 2020 and shut down many in-person events, Podcast Movement 2021 was among some of the first podcast-focused conferences to take place. Quill was a sponsor of the 2021 conference that took place in Nashville, where we got to meet so many of the individuals that we’ve built virtual relationships with over the past 2 years in-person! 

They’ve had over 10,000 podcasters join PM over the last 8 years from over 35 different countries (and growing), so we highly recommend getting your tickets for 2022. 


13. Podfest

Founded in 2013 by Chris Krimitsos, The Podfest Expo is much more than just a conference. 

Outside of bringing together industry experts and providing value to content creators, they have formed a very tight knit community. We’ve met many of our industry friends through Podfest, and built meaningful relationships through their networking events. 

The conference takes place in Orlando, Florida and 2022 will see an in-person event, so grab your tickets and squeeze in some universal studio time - always a bonus! 


14. She Podcasts

We all know one of the biggest challenges in podcasting is bringing together more diverse perspectives. The fact of the matter is podcasting is not as inclusive as we’d like. We’re not just talking about audience composition but also the profiles of hosts, guests, and producers. That’s why the work She Podcasts is doing is so incredibly meaningful. We always say that if we want to serve more of the major hubs such as LA, New York, London, Dubai, then we need to sound more like those cities. The mission at She Podcasts is to support and profile as many female-lead podcasts as possible, and bring more of those diverse stories to the table. 

15. Spotify 

Arguably one of the biggest names in audio at the moment and a brand that we couldn’t leave off of our list is Spotify. 

Spotify started making waves in podcasting back in 2019 after the acquisition of Gimlet and Anchor. Since then, Spotify has continued to push audio boundaries and change the game for podcasters. This usually takes the form of acquisitions and partnerships, some of the biggest ones in 2021 being the exclusivity deals that the company signed with Dax Sheppard’s Armchair Expert and the infamous Call Her Daddy podcast. 


16. Spreaker 

Acquired by Voxnest in 2018 which was then acquired by iHeart in 2020, Spreaker is working to make sure podcasters everywhere are heard using their creation, distribution, and monetization platform. 

Through Spreaker Studio, podcasters can easily create the content they want to share and then through their distribution platform, they can then share it with the world. Additionally, Spreaker provides audiences with informative and relevant content that pushes them to be a better podcaster everyday.  


17. Podbean

If you’re planning on launching a podcast, Podbean is a great place to start. 

For over 10 years, Podbean has been working to help podcasters from all backgrounds and sizes. Throughout 2021, Podbean announced their Corporate Podcast Summit which was a live-streamed podcast event that took place on LinkedIn. As branded podcasts continue to be on the rise, having content that’s tailored to corporations’ needs is crucial. 


18. The Roost

The Roost is a podcast network working to bring everyone’s favorite pop culture, games, and lifestyle podcasts closer to the brands that understand them. As the podcast arm for Rooster Teeth, a division of Warner Media, the network has some notable names within their roster. 

They clearly have a talent for creating great partnerships between advertisers and podcasters and at the end of the day, are looking to help elevate brands and content creators to the next level.


19. Castbox

Castbox is a Hong Kong-based podcast company. Not only are they a discoverability tool where podcast consumers can find new show recommendations, but they are also a listening platform so you can tune into a show once discovered on their platform. 

They have over 95 million volumes of content on Android, Apple iPhone, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Carplay, and Android Auto. In an effort to help content creators reach their audience, they provide the opportunity to apply to be featured on Castbox in the general banner on the homepage with paid advertising slots.


20. Player.fm

Available on both Android and iOS devices, Player FM is not only helping podcast listeners but also creators in growing their shows. 

For listeners, they can discover over 20+ million podcasts and videos, easily sync across devices, and listen anywhere and at any time to their favorite show. For creators, Player FM offers powerful advertising opportunities to get your brand, product, service, or podcast in front of the right audience. 

Quill recently began working with Player FM on advertising our client shows and the partnership has been incredible thus far! 


21. Headliner 

Headliner is a leading audiogram tool, automatically turning podcasts into shareable videos. 

2021 was a busy year for Headliner. They launched Headliner AI, basically a marketer’s assistant when it comes to audiograms. The focus of this service is to share suggestions for what segment of your podcast you should turn into a video clip so you can save time rather than sifting through a long episode. The company also launched their API which allows for any podcasting app or website to make videos easily shareable to audiences. 


22. ART19 

A cutting-edge podcast company that serves both publishers and advertisers, ART19 has been in the podcast game since 2019. 

We can’t write their section without mentioning their biggest news of 2021, this past June ART19 was acquired by Amazon Music! A huge congratulations to the entire team. With this acquisition, ART19 and Amazon Music are looking to empower even more podcast creators with the tools and solutions needed to grow their show. 


23. Podcast.co 

Podcast.co is on a mission to provide the full podcast package to all creators. 

The company offers services around podcast production, podcast advertising, and also if you prefer in-person recordings vs. remote, then Podcast.co also has podcast studio services that you can hire. Whether you’re looking to create, reach audiences, inspire listeners, or connect with awesome guests - Podcast.co has got you covered. 


24. JAR Audio 

Delivering engaging podcasts that just happen to be for brands, JAR Audio is a branded podcast agency with a knack for storytelling. 

The company places a focus on quality, authenticity, creativity, and listening to what the client is looking for. Working with brands like American Express, Expedia, Lulu Lemon and RBC, JAR Audio is continuing to make a large impact on the podcast industry. 


25. Chartable 

Chartable is a podcast analytics and attribution software. Built for advertisers and publishers, the company has had a busy year with lots of exciting updates and releases that have been announced over the last 12 months. 

Some of the key announcements include new features on their platform such as Chartable SmartFeeds, Sales Sheets, Remarketing Pixels, Podcast Demographics, Retention Analytics, and Attribution Windows. 


26. AudioGO 

Making audio advertising simpler, AudioGO works with advertisers to create audio ad campaigns that listeners love and produce great results. 

In addition to providing avenues for advertisers to achieve impact in the audio sphere, AudioGO is also an amazing resource for any creator or brand interested in the podcast advertising landscape. They are constantly sharing content via blogs, case studies, and insights on the digital audio advertising industry to better your knowledge on the topic.  


27. Podimo 

With over 250,000 minutes of podcast content and 30,000+ audiobooks, Podimo is a listening app that’s providing an amazing experience for their users. 

In February, Podimo secured €11.2 million in funding, just 8 months after the team raised €15 million for their Series A. So basically, Podimo is on fire. The product is currently available in Germany, Denmark, and various Spanish-speaking countries. The goal of the company is to become the Netflix of podcasts and we’d say that they’re on the right *audio* track. 


28. Casted

The first amplified podcast marketing platform, Casted, is giving teams access to their most valuable content. 

In early November, Casted announced the launch of their amplified marketing platform. The goal of the product is to provide the ability to harness the power of conversation, atomize it across formats, and deliver impact. The steps of this new service consist of three pillars: identify, create, and amplify. 

Casted made some big moves throughout 2021 and we’re looking forward to seeing what 2022 brings! 


29. Audioboom

Audioboom is making podcasts more accessible and profitable for podcasters, advertisers, and brands. They do this by combining technical support, production savvy and ad sales know-how into one unified experience. 

Podcasters host, distribute and monetize their content using Audioboom. While for advertisers, through dynamic ad insertions you can reach dedicated listeners and effectively deliver your brand's message. 


30. Megaphone

Acquired by Spotify in 2020, Megaphone is a podcast technology built for advertisers and publishers. 

The company is making it easy for advertisers to connect with their desired audiences at the right time and through the right content. Throughout 2021, Megaphone announced new partnerships and features including their new integration with Headliner and launching their platform in Germany, Spain, France, and Italy. 


Bonus Brand: 

31. Quill

And as a bonus brand, we wanted to add our company, Quill. Working with clients like PwC, TD, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, and RALLY, we’re passionate about helping brands to tell their stories through engaging and unique content. 

Quill also received the Veuve Clicquot, Bold Future Award and the Pivot Award from the Women in Content Marketing Awards. We also launched initiatives such as the Quill Podcast Awards, focused on showcasing incredible podcasts and the brands/creators behind them. 

We’re proud of the work we’ve produced throughout 2021 and can’t wait to continue to create an even bigger impact on the audio industry throughout 2022 (*hint: some exciting announcements to come).

Alison Osborne

Director of Growth Marketing

A passionate storyteller, Ali is Quill’s Director of Growth Marketing, previously the co-founder and CMO of the branded podcast agency, Origins Media Haus (acquired by Quill). She excels in merging creativity with data in order to successfully build and grow a brand.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!