Podcasts: reinventing media

With over 20% of Americans listening monthly, podcasts have grown significantly among the average citizen. Listener engagement and retention is among the highest of all forms of media, so what’s making podcasts so popular?

A podcast (originally a name meaning iPod broadcast) is simply a digital audio recording of a person, or a group of people, talking about a certain topic. As an auditory and largely mobile form of entertainment, podcasts have benefited greatly with the growth of technology. Apps on smartphones and other devices have made downloading or streaming these broadcasts easier than ever. This ease of access helps makes it possible to listen in situations when visual attention is not available. Whether you are out running, driving, doing chores, or lying in bed, podcasts are always a pleasant option to gain more knowledge.

Compared to older media, podcasts have much more room for flexibility. While some podcasts are very similar to radio talk shows, others can be very specialized. Entire series might be dedicated to reviewing Game of Thrones, the latest in technology, or even pens. On the other hand, some shows can go from talking about bees to the fundamental nature of the universe in the span of a few minutes. Within a few minutes of scrolling through the charts, there will bound to be something for you.

iTunes Podcast logo |
Photo Courtesy of Apple

Traditionally, podcasts were uploaded to the host’s website, where you could play it directly or download it to your device. Now, apps like iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play Music integrate podcasts into their services. If you’re looking for a more specialized experience, apps like Overcast and CastBox allow users to automatically download the latest episode from their favorite presenters, vary the playing speed without distorting voices, and equalize sound levels.

If you have not started listening, now is the best time to start. Podcast audiences continue to grow in size, and the variety of topics is endless. Most of all, the community of creators and listeners is tightly connected and certain to keep you coming back for more.

Written by Johny Tran

Johny is a person, maybe.

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