Podcasts Continue To Become More Popular


Apr 15, 2019

Podcasts have risen in popularity over the last several years and the reasons for why more people tune in are many. One reason people consume podcasts is because the format fits easily into the busy lives of the modern world.

A podcast is easy to listen to during a drive to work, when lying in bed, going for a walk or even when cooking dinner. Another reason more people are gravitating toward this medium is because it combines both the need to be entertained and informed.

Through easy-to-digest bite-sized chunks of information, a person can decide to listen in to a podcast and get informed about politics, science or the latest news. On the other hand, there are many podcasts online that are nonfiction entertainment. The podcast movement fills a need for people to belong to a community. Finding a new podcast means finding a new group of like-minded individuals who share a common point of view or life interest.

What Classifies as a Podcast?

What is a podcast? A good place to start when describing the definition of a podcast is to think of it like “on demand” Internet radio. Rather than getting “broadcast” in the sense that regular AM and FM radio is broadcast, a podcast is usually pre-recorded by its host and then placed online for consumption whenever fans of the show want to tune in.

Another way a podcast differs from AM and FM broadcasts is that podcast audiences are normally more targeted audiences. Broadcast radio stations cater to huge audiences (usually because they sell advertising to advertisers that want to reach these large audiences).

Since a podcast is placed online for its audience to listen to when they choose to fit it into their schedule, a podcast’s audience is normally smaller than a radio station’s audience. However, this means a podcast is reaching a more targeted audience that is more directly interested in the content.

A podcast is a bit like the audio version of TiVo, where the audience can digest the content when it best fits their lifestyle and schedule.

Best Ways to Get Podcasts

There are two basic ways to listen to a podcast. The hosts of most podcasts use a website to upload each episode. The first way to get access to podcast episodes is to visit the podcast’s website, press the play button and listen in. This is called streaming the podcast.

The second way to gain access to a podcast is to download episodes to a smartphone, computer or tablet. Once downloaded, an episode can now get listened to even when that device is not connected to the Internet.

A podcast app is used in order to download a podcast episode. There are different apps to use, depending on the type of device used. For Android users, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and RadioPublic are options that make it easy to download podcasts. These apps can be found in the Google Play store. For iPhone or iPad users, the Podcasts app is used. This app comes pre-installed on newer Apple devices or it can be found inside the App Store.

Most Popular Podcasts

There are podcasts in every category imaginable. According to MarketingCharts.com, the top 5 most popular genres of podcasts include:

  • Music
  • TV & Movies
  • Comedy
  • Technology
  • Kids & Family

Other popular podcast genres include business, sports, games & hobbies, society & culture, arts and politics.

In terms of popularity, here are some of the best podcasts available today (according to research from podcastinginsights.com):

  • Stupid Genius with Emma Chamberlain: Each episode includes Emma tackling a challenging question, such as “Why do onions make people cry?”. She is given three chances to try and solve each question posed.
  • Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad: Paul Holes is a retired cold case detective and Billy Jensen is an investigative reporter. Together, they dig into unsolved missing persons and murder cases to try and unravel the truth.
  • The Joe Rogan Experience: Comedian Joe Rogan talks about a multitude of issues and interviews people such as Kevin Hart, Ben Shapiro, David Lee Roth and Mike Tyson.
  • Against the Rules with Michael Lewis: Lewis, a journalist and bestselling author, discusses what’s happening to fairness. He looks for fairness in basketball games, financial markets, courts of law, newsrooms, etc.
  • To Live and Die in LA: A serial podcast that details what Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss found out about the story of an aspiring actress who vanished from her Hollywood apartment in February 2018.
  • Dream Big Podcast: Bob Goff discusses how people can chase their ambitions and fulfill them.
  • The Daily: This is a podcast put out by The New York Times. Michael Barbaro is the host and he brings listeners the biggest stories of the day.
  • WorkLife with Adam Grant: Grant discusses how to experience a better work life.
  • The Dave Ramsey Show: Host, Dave Ramsey, helps listeners with their investing needs, ideas about saving for retirement, how to get the best insurance and how to get out of debt.

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