Television, music and movies are typically the main channels that come to mind when one thinks of entertainment, but that should no longer be the case.
The advent of the digital age has led to a rise in content outside of typical mediums, and just because this content is different does not mean it should be viewed as a lesser form of entertainment.
One such medium is the podcast, which is basically a digital audio show that can easily be downloaded to a phone or computer from a variety of sources. The first ever podcast was released by Christopher Lydon in 2003, according to The Guardian. Podcasts, however, have only lately gained massive audiences thanks to newer services and products provided by companies like Apple and Spotify.
More than 60 million American homes listened to podcasts in 2017, according to Nielsen. This is a culmination of podcasting’s steady rise in popularity throughout the past decade.
Such a phenomenon clearly coincides with the general increase in digital media consumption that is a result of the current digital age.
A quick perusal of the Apple podcast app’s “browse” page shows that everyone and their mother is able to make their own podcast, including established celebrities ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Snoop Dogg. People have also made careers out of podcasting.
The McElroy brothers started their first podcast, a comedy-advice show called “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” in 2010, as a way to keep in touch while they lived in different states. Since then, the McElroys have created 15 podcasts, seven YouTube series and a show on the media service provider Seeso, according to SplitSider.
The fact that anyone can start their own podcast may be why this platform is held in lower regard than other forms of entertainment. Audio equipment is significantly less expensive than visual production equipment, and podcasts do not require much postproduction effort. It is significantly easier for anyone with a mic and an idea to talk about their interests. Nonetheless, podcasts should not be looked down upon simply because they are easier to make than a television show.
Appointment consumption is on the decline. Streaming allows people to watch the movies or television shows they want, whenever and wherever they want. With visual media, however, you still need to find the time to sit and watch something.
Podcasts allow the audience to multitask and enjoy content while they are doing something else. This makes them one of the most convenient forms of entertainment, as they can be enjoyed during a commute, at the gym or during a particularly slow day at work.
Podcasts are insightful, engaging and should be treated with the same reverence as other more commonly known forms of entertainment.