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4 Reasons Why Podcasts Are the New Medium of Information

Diganth is an avid listener of various genres of podcasts and wants to share the key factors of podcast popularity amongst listeners.

What Is a Podcast?

Nowadays, all of us have access to every piece of information related to a certain subject through several mediums. Earlier it was through news channels, where we used to stay informed about the latest happenings in the world. Now it is a mix of traditional and new age media like news channels, radios, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which keep us up to date about current events both nearby and around the world.

Amongst these, there has been another medium that was seen as a traditional form of communication in the '80s but has grown tremendously in the last 5 to 6 years: podcasts. Podcasting began in 1980 but it couldn't quite take off until 2004, after the advent of Apple iPods.

Podcasting is very prominent in the U.S. and the U.K., where a host of the podcast, having considerable knowledge of certain industries or subjects, shares their views or opinions while in conversation with a guest of that particular industry.

They talk at length about a subject or real-life experiences and incidents that they have been part of—or completely random stuff. Podcasting is not only popular in Europe and the United States, though. The podcasting culture has also taken over in Asia as well as South America.

Slowly, the content that is talked about in the shows took the shape of diversity where the topics of discussion are not limited to one subject. In other words, there are different genres of podcasts, just like music. Along with that, the rising popularity of it is shared amongst people of all age groups.

4 Reasons Why Podcasting Has Become a Convenient Medium of Information

  1. The podcast listening community involves people of all age- groups.
  2. The theme and conversational nature of podcasts differentiate them from other forms of communication.
  3. Podcasts are very varied in terms of topics and content.
  4. A podcast provides both convenience and learning value for its listeners.

1. The Podcast Listening Community Involves People of All Age Groups

  • The podcasting culture has made its way in all parts of the world with a large audience listening to them. The audience listening to podcasts comprises the younger and the older generation of people. 50% of the people that listen to podcasts are between the age of 18 to 34, whereas 30% of the listeners are above the age of 40.
  • The reason for this is the flexibility and diversity of content that is available on podcasts. The topics discussed range from informational to all kinds of content that are relevant to audiences of all age groups. For instance, talk shows or podcasts that touch on topics such as personal growth, fitness, self-motivation, sports and humor have high listenership from the youth.
  • Podcasts that have star power or attraction, where famous celebrities and athletes share their views and real-life anecdotes from which one can take inspiration or cues, increase the capacity and curiosity to consume information for youngsters. A major reason why they tune in to podcasts.
  • As for the older generation, they tend to listen to podcasts that deal with topics of spirituality, lifestyle, devotional and political affairs of the world. Also, the fact these topics are discussed in an engaging manner, keeps the listeners engrossed in the subject discussed on the podcast.

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2. The Theme and Conversational Nature of a Podcast Differentiates It From Other Forms of Communication

  • The sole reason that I listen to podcasts is because of their conversational and engaging nature. The duration of podcasts usually ranges from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the topic of conversation. Usually, many of us don't prefer listening to or reading long blocks of information from articles or newspapers, especially if the tone of the content is delivered in a very formal manner.
  • The same can be said of news channels and radio shows. Well, there are some radio shows that have high listeners depending on the demeanor of the radio jockeys and the theme of the show but compared to podcasts it still falls shorts when it comes to preference for listeners.
  • It is quite remarkable that people with a low attention span like me listen to podcasts of long duration. A lot of that is owed to the conversational skills of the host and the guest conducting the podcast, as well as the topic of your interest being discussed in a very engaging and humorous way that holds the interest and attention of the listener/viewer. The experience is very similar to having a good and lively conversation with your friends.

3. Podcasts Are Very Varied in Terms of Topics and Content

  • Similar to music, podcasts touch upon topics of different genres that are widely recognized and read about. Podcasts that discuss sports such as MMA and boxing have good popularity amongst the youth. Then there are podcasts that discuss spirituality and healing that have a huge following amongst the older generation.
  • Podcasts that are aimed at self-improvement and productivity are trending a lot at the moment. Also, podcasts that have a high celebrity attraction will always have a high viewership because of the curiosity factor I discussed before. All in all, this variety in topics adds to the shine of the podcasting culture.

4. A Podcast Provides Both Convenience and Learning Value for Its Listeners

  • The two main value propositions that podcasts provide to their listeners and viewers are convenience and learning. These two, according to me are the significant reasons why people tune in to podcasts. Listening to podcasts have a huge convenience factor to it, mainly because of the ease of accessibility and listening.
  • Podcasts can be listened to anytime and anywhere once it is made available on social media platforms such as Youtube, Spotify, and others. Podcasts, unlike radio shows, are made available in the aftermath of the podcasting session between the host and the guest.
  • Certain sections of the podcasts are edited and then uploaded on the respective platforms of their audiences. Radio shows can only be listened to when they are live on-air.
  • This means you can listen to the podcast whenever you want or by downloading it from your mobile phone. Many listen to podcasts while commuting to work or during their free time.
  • Listening to podcasts also helps the listener learn a lot of new things about other people and professions, their mindset, current affairs, life hacks, etc which one can implement in his own life. People on the podcast talking about their past experiences, choices which ended up having a positive and negative impact on their lives is something a listener can take a lot of inspiration or guidance from. Podcasts are a mine of insights waiting to be discovered by listeners.

Final Thoughts

The podcasting culture is here to stay. Along with capturing Europe and the West, it has gained a large standing in India where podcasts are listened to with regularity.

The future looks bright for the podcasting community as more people buy into this new form of communicating the content of important and relevant topics with a mix of engagement and realism.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Diganth Shetty

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