Podcasts – you’ve probably come across this term quite frequently in the past few months, especially since the pandemic. Research states that there are over 2 million podcasts out there, totaling over 48 million episodes! From social issues to k-drama reviews, name any topic under the sun and you would undoubtedly find a podcast for it. Ergo, it’s not surprising that podcasts have garnered quite a large audience of about 485 million people, with most of them being regular listeners.
However, podcasts are not as recent a phenomenon as you would think. It’s been around for more than 40 years now, although it might not have been as popular back in the 1980s. But with the emergence of portable devices such as Walkmans, iPods, and now, smartphones, releasing such audio files and listening to them have become much easier.
Not only are podcasts convenient and easy to consume, but they are also a remarkably simple way for creators to churn out content. Platforms such as Spotify, Apple, and Google podcasts make the process of podcast creation and distribution fairly simple for individuals. As a result, the number of people creating them from the comfort of their homes has grown significantly. Given the pandemic situation, this has provided content creators with a way to continue entertaining without losing their loyal audience. It allows them to try out new mediums and potentially reach new sets of audiences as well. It’s also a great way to share one’s knowledge about various topics, and things happening around the world. It allows one to bring forth their thoughts and opinions about a particular subject. One could say that podcasts provide an experience similar to having conversations with people in real-time and hence proves to be a much more intimate way of sharing one’s thoughts.
Podcasts are not confined to a particular genre; be it talking about some of the most intriguing conspiracies you’ve heard of or just having a fun conversation with your friend about the movie you’ve recently watched together, you can make a podcast about anything. It’s one of the reasons why there’s been a rise in the number of podcast creators over the past few months.
Today, people are on the constant lookout for new forms of entertainment. Due to this, we have noticed a shift from traditional media, such as televisions, to “on-demand” entertainment. People prefer being offered options they can choose from, hence the rise of platforms like Youtube, Netflix, and many others over the past few years. And in the current fast-paced world, multitasking has undeniably become a norm. There’s a need to be able to consume entertainment without disrupting one’s usual routine. All these factors make podcasts one of the best forms of media for content consumption. Listeners have a plethora of topics and creators to choose from, and they can listen to them anytime and anywhere! You can listen to them while at work, doing your household chores, or during your commute. One could learn a new language, listen to expert interviews, get to know what one’s favorite celebrity does in a day, keep up with the news, or listen to chapters of an audiobook – all through podcasts! And almost always, they are free of cost. This has allowed podcasts to gain a huge audience with a lot of them being subscribers to monthly, or weekly content. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that podcasts are now one of the most popular forms of media.
Podcasts have become part of the regular lifestyle for many. It allows people to learn new things without having to spare a lot of time from their tight schedules. It’s a great way to make use of the little free time available in a day. A lot of them turn to podcasts to relax their minds after a long, stressful day as they offer an escape from their daily lives. It also enables people to speak out their opinions and be heard at the same time, and it could be about anything really!
Needless to say, the growth of podcasts over the past few decades has been incredible, the numbers say it all. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that we are living in the era of podcasts, and it’s just the beginning!