The growing popularity of podcasts

Even if you have music playing in your office or workplace during the working day, there will inevitably be times when you’ll be plugging your headphones in, whether that’s on the daily commute or going out for a lunchtime run. This is where many people find podcasts invaluable.

A recent surge in their popularity has seen a boom in the number of people listening to podcasts all over the world, and those numbers are climbing every day as more and more people discover them.  According to the latest data, there are currently over 950,000 podcasts and 30 million episodes available.  

Why?

In our ‘on-demand’ society, bingeing on media content has become a regular habit thanks to the instant availability of content on platforms such as Netflix and Spotify. We all want to be able to listen to whatever we want, whenever we want, so the content that lies at our fingertips is constantly increasing in both quality and quantity.

With such a vast range of podcast genres now available, there’s something for everyone. From comedy, food and current affairs right through to motivational TED talks, there’s a podcast to suit your mood, whatever your interests. Not only has the number of people engaging with podcast listening increased, but the frequency and duration with which people listen has too. Around 35% of podcast fans listen to whole episodes without skipping through any part of them, and most listen to an average of seven shows each week.

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Bite-sized entertainment

One of the many reasons that podcast popularity has skyrocketed is that they fit into every lifestyle. In an age where we’re constantly on the go, podcasts are a great way of getting information and entertainment to fit in with a busy day. They can be listened to in bite-sized chunks that suit you, whether you’re on the commute to work, walking the dog, or taking a stroll to get your morning coffee.

The busiest of us may not even have the time to sit down and read a news article, so the option to listen to an interesting, engaging commentary of  news stories is really appealing. Podcasts also offer the opportunity to dip in and out of content as it suits, meaning busy lifestyles aren’t interrupted by here-and-now schedules, satisfying our appetite for limitless content.

The power to choose

Offering a much more intimate experience than radio listening, podcasts enable you to choose a narrative that suits your own tastes. Selecting an episode based on your mood, likes, dislikes and what you want to gain means that you can tailor the entire experience to your wants and needs. Most of us listen to podcasts through headphones too, enabling us to unwind in our own personal bubble and enhancing the experience with the intimacy of conversation. 

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Don’t let go of music

Whilst storytelling narratives often top the charts in terms of the most popular genres, podcasts aren’t necessarily all about talking. In fact, music-related podcasts are one of the most popular genres, second only to comedy. From shows based on artist interviews and podcasts run by artists themselves, to discussions on songwriting and music production, there’s something for everyone, whether your passion lies with the technical side of the music industry or you’re simply a music fan.

The positive effects of podcasts

There are a whole host of positive impacts that listening to podcasts can have, from social to mental wellbeing.

Finding people that listen to and love the same music as you creates an enormous sense of community, which is particularly clear when fans come together at live gigs and concerts. Many life-long friendships are formed around a shared love of a certain artist, band or music genre. Finding like-minded podcast fans can create a similar connection, whilst posting about your favourite podcasters on social media  is a great way to share entertainment that you enjoy.

Living in a world where everything constantly fights for our attention can be exhausting, but podcasts don’t demand all of our attention at once. The audio-only entertainment allows us to multi-task, whilst also engaging with the content. Alongside your favourite roadtrip playlist or feel good album, they can be a good companion for long, lonely drives, or a changeup soundtrack to those monotonous household chores.

Whatever your personal preference, there is a podcast out there for everyone. But if you’d rather stick with a daily dose of pure music, check out our article on how music aids productivity.

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