My campaign to make have everyone listen to podcasts.
For years, podcasts have been one of my favorite sources of entertainment. However, with so much to offer, I still don’t understand why this great medium keeps getting overlooked. I’m here to try to explain that this is so much more than just another show with a celebrity that is available on iTunes.
What is a podcast?
For those who are reading this post and — just as I suspected — don’t know what a Podcast is, I’ll try to give a brief explanation.
Basically, Podcasts are on-demand internet radio shows delivered in an episodic manner. However, there are no official rules for what exactly defines the structure of what a podcast is. Although the majority comes in digital audio, they can also be combined with image and video files, all available online to download. The content and topics can vary between podcasts or even between episodes of the same show. The delivery ranges from interviews to simple conversations or monologues. Even the duration of an episode can go from a brief 5 minutes to some deep-dive 2-hour podcast.
Simply put it, Podcasts are the new broadcast for the digital era.
Just me and my podcasts
Confession time: I never really liked Radio. I just never connected with the available shows, and personally, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the music repertoire on those radio stations. For the longest time, my closest friend was my mp3 player and those 5 songs on loop.
I don’t remember how I found out about podcasts. But I recall being in high school when I started to listen to them. My commute to school was around 1 hour, and — as someone that developed an early case of multi-tasking obsession — it simply killed me having to spend that time just walking around. So, when I came across Podcasts, I knew it was my salvation from that useless period.
Podcasts gave me the much necessary quiet time in the middle of a very busy bus. Not only that, but they were also very entertaining and educational. I would be arriving to face the dreadful high-school environment somehow calm, with a smile on my face, and with some new knowledge. Everything because of podcasts.
My failed propaganda
As you can imagine, I still love podcasts. However, the sad reality is that, to this day, I have yet to find someone close to me that also listens to podcasts. I mean, I know people listen to them, but those people most live very far away from me because I sure can’t find them. And needless to say, I’ve also failed miserably trying to convince someone to give podcasts a chance. Most people that I introduce podcasts to, they generally get confused. They don’t understand what’s interesting about having someone talking into your ear for 1 hour about some random topic. Granted, saying like this isn’t exactly helping me selling the product to people, or maybe I’m just looking in the wrong crowd. But at the same time, I would argue that every crowd could be a podcast crowd.
What’s the appeal?
I truly believe that Podcasts are a craft that a lot of people don’t realize how complex it really is. The things you can take from TV, radio, books or movies, I can guarantee that you will find it in some way in podcasts. It’s an entertainment medium, that it can make you smile or full-on laugh, make you intrigued or even motivated.
Podcasts can deliver content in a highly humanized way that no other medium can bring to the table. There is a reason why multiple celebrities now all have podcasts. In fact, everyone has a podcast, you probably know someone that has one. It’s a unique way to share your message and connect with an audience. It brings a new level of intimacy: the speaker is literally in your ear.
The world of podcasting is indeed massive, and it’s only growing. Every day, a new podcast appears, and they are becoming more and more specific. In the past you could have a movie podcast, now you have a podcast that only talks specifically about the score of a movie (it’s a thing!). From comedy to motivational talks, movies to music, trivia to deep-dives, you can surely find something for you.
And everything is available to you online. You can choose what shows and episodes to download, and where and when to listen to. Your phone probably already has some app that supports podcasts. Finally, most of them are free, which is definitely the perfect price to pay to see if you may like something like podcasts.
I rest my case.
After all of this, I hope I changed your mind or at least made you curious enough to give podcasts a try. Now, if you are slightly overwhelmed by the world of podcasts and don’t know where to start, I will share with you a couple of my all-time favorite podcasts:
Daily Boost: It’s your daily motivation that gets you ready to face the day — in only 5 minutes.
99% Invisible: each episode is a well-research deep-dive on a topic that you probably didn’t know or never thought about it, but once you listen to it you won’t stop thinking about.
Creative Pep Talk: Insights and motivation for the self-proclaimed creative, it’s a podcast full of energy and really useful advice for someone in this industry.
Stuff You Should Know: If you ever wondered how something works or came to be, the podcast probably has an episode explaining it already.