To pod or not to pod

  • 2 min to read

In a time where digital media is a part of our everyday lives, people have a plethora of options for entertainment at their fingertips. One of the more common options is podcasts.

According to Podcast Insights, there are currently over 800,000 podcasts available through various platforms, with over 30 million episodes between them all. Apple Podcasts alone confirmed they had 550,000 podcasts in June of 2018. 

Additionally, Music Oomph says 51 percent of the US population has listened to a podcast. However, only 22 percent of the population listens to podcasts weekly. They also add that there may be a connection to income and podcasts, stating that listeners are 45 percent more likely to have an annual income of over $250,000. 

Around fifty-four percent of the podcast audience is found on Apple’s iOS ecosystem, which correlates with the large library that Apple Podcasts has to offer.

Biology Professor Ramesh Laungani has his own podcast that is garnering national attention. His podcast, “Warm Regards”, is one of five that have been nominated for iHeartRadio’s “Best Green Podcast” award. 

“There hasn’t been a point where I felt like it was appropriate for me to be like, go listen to episode 12. I don’t know that I’ll ever feel comfortable doing that (making students listen to his podcast),” Laungani said.

Laungani believes that podcasts are a great source of information that is at the listener’s pace and is available at any time. “Podcasts alone provides an avenue that other media don’t. The benefit of something like podcasts is that you can swallow that information when you want, it’s not determined by anyone else’s schedule,” Laungani said.

He added how the pace of the listener is why podcasts offer an avenue that many television episodes and specials don’t, and that attributes to its rise in popularity. “It’s because it’s a form of media that can be consumed at an individual’s scale and at an individual’s pace,” Laungani said.

According to a survey of Doane students, only 26.2 percent have never listened to a podcast. Additionally, 82 percent of students said they at least knew somebody who listens to podcasts.

Podcasts are available on a number of platforms and Doane students stream them on a number of services. The most popular of these being Spotify Podcasts, which 55.6 percent of students said they use to listen through. Apple Podcasts was second with 27.8 percent of students listening through this avenue. 

The majority of students have not had to listen to a podcast for a class, though about a third of all students have had to at one point or another.

The genres of podcasts listened to varies greatly, with students listening to podcasts for comedy. Other popular genres included news, sports, history, society and culture, crime, and true crime. Other genres that a few students say they listen to, such as storytelling, science, lifestyle, and fiction.