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Why are Podcasts Still Popular?

Not much time? Try listening to a podcast.

Podcasts are great because they can be enjoyed while running, commuting, making dinner, cleaning the house, and walking the dog — and they offer an opportunity to learn something new, get informed on things like current events, or to simply get a laugh. All these reasons are why podcasts have become so popular over the years.

Today there are more than 1,000,000 podcast shows to listen to, and as of April 2020, there are now more than 30 million shows to listen to.

Podcasts are enjoyed by everyone from young to old and in between. A recent study by Edison Research said 50 percent of the U.S. population has listened to at least one podcast.

And podcasts continue to grow in their popularity while other media platforms are on the decline. For instance, in 2018, Nielsen reported the number of time people spent watching TV fell below two hours a day for the first time; newspaper circulation, print and digital, also dropped by about 8 percent in 2018, according to Pew Research Center.

Here are some other key reasons why podcasts are so popular.

Podcasts are Easy to Find

Podcasts are available when you want and listening to one is easy. Anyone with a smartphone can listen to a podcast, and if you don’t own one, you can listen to many podcasts through websites. Apple Podcasts, Apple’s podcast-streaming app, are already available on the iPhone. But if you don’t own an iPhone there are other ways to listen such through Luminary and Radio Public, while you are out and about

Free Listening

To listen to a podcast, you don’t need to but a hardback book, any kind of eReader, or a newspaper subscription. Most of the time listening to a podcast is free. 

Podcasts Let You Multitask

Whether you’re taking the kids to school, making a new recipe, or going out to exercise, a podcast can be a great way to stay entertained. Podcasts come in various lengths so you can listen to a recap of the latest news while commuting to the office or you can spend more time listening to something that interests you or pertains to your life when you have free time.

Podcasts are Easy to Make

You don’t need a producer (unless you want one) and loads of cash to create a podcast. Many podcasts have started in spare bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Just about anyone can create a podcast with limited funds and simple equipment.

Podcasts are Flexible

According to June 2019 data from Podcast Insights, there are more than 750,000 different podcasts. Whether you want to listen to a celebrity or find out how to grow the perfect garden there is most likely a podcast for it.

Podcasts Can Help Build Community 

Some of the most popular podcasts have a loyal following built around their listeners — and those listeners eagerly wait weekly or every other week for the new release of each new episode. Some shows sell merchandise; create Facebook groups; have their own social media groups; host live shows, get-togethers, and discussion groups. Because many listeners are already on their phones when they tune into a podcast, it is simple for them to visit social media and share the podcast. They can also engage with other listeners, which builds a community around the podcast.

Better than Audio Books

Podcast episodes usually consist of conversations between two or more people. This has advantages over say a typical one-person narration found in books on tape. And a podcast conversation comes across more natural than someone telling a story. A podcast isn’t as structured as a book, so it has more chances for providing interesting topics to make listening more unpredictable.

On Your Schedule

But maybe the best thing about podcasts is you’re able to tune in and out of a podcast, on your time. And you can set aside when something comes up but tune right back in when you are ready. In other words, a podcast episode allows you to jump back when you wish.

Podcasts are perfect for when you want to pass the time, and let you get immersed in an enlightening conversation when you are involved in the mundane chores of life.

Are you ready to start listening? You can find and download top podcasts from iTunes and Stitcher, as well as apps like Downcast and Pocket Casts.

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