For many, podcasts are a great form of entertainment while travelling, completing chores or just wanting to unwind and relax. Whether you want a comedy show to lift your mood, a motivational talk or to learn something new, there is a podcast for you.
Podcasts were first created in 2004 when radio broadcasts were first made possible to download onto iPods; hence how they got their name. The number of podcasts and their listeners has grown steadily from there, but in recent years, podcasts and their audience have started to increase massively. In fact, it is estimated that by 2026, the number of podcast listeners in the UK will rise from 19.1 million to over 28 million.
The popularity of podcasts may be due the fact that most podcasts are free and easy to access, with Apple creating the “Podcasts” app and Spotify having a wide selection of podcasts on a wide range of topics, making it easy to find a podcast that suits your interests and current mood.
Danny Norman, founder and co-presenter of the popular podcast “With Me Now”, told me, “Podcasts have succeeded as a medium because they are both entertaining and convenient and they were really the first form of media where you could choose what you wanted to listen to at a time that suited you.”
Many large news providers, such as BBC News and the Times, have podcasts and many celebrities have started podcasting in recent years including Oprah, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Peter Crouch and even The Sidemen. These factors contribute greatly to why the podcast industry has grown so fast.
Podcasts are not just enjoyable and easy to listen to but are also enjoyable and easy to make. Many amateurs create podcasts for themselves, their family, their friends and a small fan base to enjoy, without the intention of earning any money. However, some are able to make a career of podcasting and can make very large amounts of money. For example, the controversial podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” had an income of $30 million in 2019 alone. Huge incomes like this come from affiliate marketing, donations and selling merchandise. The income of some podcasts is also likely to rise as it is expected that in 2025, $2.4 billion will be spent on advertisements in podcasts.
“Podcasts are easy to make – all you need is a microphone and a simple editing software,” stated Danny Norman. “I believe they will be around for a long time and hope that the market will stay fresh and the quality stays high.”
So, next time you are on a boring commute or doing the washing up, why not try listening to a podcast. And, if you have the time and something to say, why not think about making one of your own.