According to Deloitte’s recent annual report, including predictions for the tech, media, and telecom sectors, the global podcast market is expected to grow by 30% to $1.1 billion in 2020. That would mean a record broken for podcasts – and a very probable one if you consider their growth in recent years. But the big question is – what if it’s an understatement?

The report highlights the fact that – if the current growth continues for podcasts – by 2025, we’ll see podcasts break $3.3 billion in revenue. But the authors of the report also stressed the fact that to do that, international growth will be required, along with improved monetization – a worry tied to the fact that at this point, most podcasts are available for free and don’t even come close to using all of their monetization opportunities.

This is where new advertising technologies will come in soon that will help podcast authors and brands run targeted, relevant audio ads at scale without compromising the close relationship with the listener, which – for now – is an inherent feature of podcasts. It also means that the authors of the report might be understating the anticipated growth of podcast revenue. Mostly because they based their forecast on the existing models used by audiobooks and audio streams, which both have been growing at a steady pace.

For example, according to the report, US audiobook revenues have seen double-digit growth almost every year since 2013, which went to nearly 40 percent in 2018. And the audiobook market is still – quite understandably – much stronger when it comes to monetization than the podcast market. The thing is, the predictions don’t account for the adoption of new advertising tech that’s only about to emerge on the market. One of the drivers for the growth of audiobooks is seen in the growing popularity of smart speakers, which is also bound to influence podcast growth and its monetization, with interactive voice ads coming up as the next big thing.

So, even though experts point out the fact that podcasts have a long way to go when it comes to using their monetization opportunities to their full potential, we’re yet to see what the real numbers will be this year. Because Deloitte’s forecast might turn out a little more conservative than reality.

You can read the whole report by Deloitte here.