Imagine coming across an endless supply of your favorite chocolates and sweets. That’s how I felt when I stumbled upon my phone’s podcast app. It opened up a world of overwhelming categories of comedy, literature, arts, business, and music to name a few. Podcasts are my personal candy store where I pick and choose the ones that look most appealing and quickly consume.
If you’re not familiar with what a podcast is, it is Internet radio that you can download and listen to, rewind, or fast forward at your own command. Podcasts can range from thirty minutes to 2 hours; it can cover multiple topics, or specific topics all depending on you.
Edison Research states that since 2008, the numbers of podcast listeners has nearly doubled in 2015. Roughly 49 percent of Americans older than 12 have listened to a podcast at least once.
This milestone is changing the way people spend time together and how people interact with one another. Lauren Kay and Emma Tessler, two entrepreneurs journeying in building a new matchmaking site have collaborated with Alex Blumberg’s branched out business podcast, StartUp. According to the Washington Post, not too long ago, these two women hosted a launch party in D.C. and the question amongst the attendees wasn’t “what do you do for a living?” It was “what podcasts are you listening to?”
Although it’s been a decade since Apple incorporated podcasts into their software, people aren’t missing out on the timeless quality or quantity this app has to offer. Podcasts make it easier to educate, inspire, and entertain oneself.
My twenty-minute commute to campus usually involves listening to music, reading a book, or catching up on the news. After awhile these distractions became repetitive, the voices on the train grew louder and louder, and those twenty minutes converted into twenty minutes of boredom and dread. Since discovering that I could leverage my time through podcasts, I cease to encounter any sort of boredom on the metrorail.
Podcasts like “Serial” hosted by Sara Koenig, which debuted in October 2014, follows the 1999 murder investigation of Baltimore teen, Hae Min Lee. When I first listened to Sara Koenig’s voice, I was immediately hooked. I’ve learned that the voice of the host influences the podcast almost entirely; often dictating whether or not I should continue to listen.
Amongst a few popular favorites are, NPR’S “TED Radio Hour,” philosophy podcast “The Partially Examined Life,” and “Magic Lessons” with author Elizabeth Gilbert.
In this day and age, not everyone has the ability to sit down and read; people are always rushing and moving. This new boom in podcasts is luring the world in and producing a new landscape for media, a new opportunity for people to read with their ears. Whether it’s a thirty-minute commute on the train or a ten-hour journey from Amsterdam to Berlin, a source of entertainment is pivotal for anyone to pass time enjoyably.