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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Podcasts - Audio Entertainment's New Avatar

Has this exploding industry reached your ears yet ?

Updating your playlist

Wikipedia uses these words to sum it up: A podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audiofiles that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient and integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices. This explanation does not do full justice or sum up the meteoric rise and popularity of podcasts in recent years across all ages.

Podcasts have literally exploded across the media landscaping and seem to be growing from strength to strength. Even in a space crowded with content its' influence is growing and so is its' following. Let's explore this magical world.

It is easy to see why

“Podcasts are amazing for an intellectually curious person,” says Brett Brewer, who is the cofounder of several companies, including MySpace and Crosscut, a Los Angeles–based venture-capital firm. Podcasts span all kinds of genre, are easily accessible and mostly free. Most podcast addicts like me listen to them while running or in my case walking, commuting, cooking, cleaning, driving—because it’s is a fun way to keep up with the latest trends, learn something new, stay on top of current events, follow lifestyle and /or technical content in a fun and easy way.

No one needs an additional gadget to listen to a podcast, anyone with a smartphone can download an app and soon be on their way to an exciting new world of easily consumable content. There are no long term, binding subscriptions, it is free and there is no time limits either. Once you download the content one can listen at leisure. As we try to fit in everything into our lives, podcasts allow us to multitask, filling our silences and our thoughts as we commute or go about our day completing mundane tasks. Since they come in all lengths and a multitude of topics, one can catch a quick update on the latest news, listen to the top news podcasts: The Daily by the New York Times (news): while someone else can choose to do a deep dive into Ten Percent Happier (meditation).

Intimate & Versatile

Since podcasts follow the format of an informal conversation or a roundtable discussion and encompass a gamut of interests like business, sailing, space, travel, nutrition, wellbeing, their growing popularity is not surprising. NPR has its own offering of podcasts catering to a wide variety of interests.

You know podcasts have arrived, when you see celebrities and entertainers embracing this trendy format. Many well known personalities from Oprah Winfrey to Michelle Obama (links to their content) have launched their own podcasts. Listeners tuning in can get to know celebrities and their high-profile guests on a more personal level. The experience is very intimate and mimics a dinner table setting with strangers you have invited into one's home a rather intoxicating and unique encounter.

Podcast transmitting and listening builds loyalty and in the long run a close knit community. Since the podcasts are often specific to their interests, listener engagement level is very high. Feedback, social engagement, discussion groups all go towards building a large and loyal fraternity. Since the reach of podcasts are so targeted and specific, most listeners in turn, love to connect with others with the similar interests and everything comes full circle.

Podcasts remind me of my earlier iteration, when I used to interview folks on radio, if I had stayed the path, I would be conducting the show on a podcast. The evolution is meteoritic, extraordinary and amazing. The trajectory can only go upwards and the topics continue to be all embracing as the fireside chats continue. Come join the circle and share your favorite podcast stories.

We are stronger together


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