Lately, my morning routine has included a podcast with my coffee. Whether it be true crime, fashion, or self-help, there is a podcast for every mood I’m in. According to eMarketer, the number of monthly U.S. podcast listeners will increase by over 10% this year to a total of 117.8 million. Podcasts have been around forever. But why are they so popular now?
The History of Podcasting
Bite-sized broadcasts go way back. However, the Internet in 2000 brought on the digital delivery of an audio file to the average listener. For the next 10 plus years, podcasts were just another delivery option for existing content. Then in 2014, “This American Life” launched season one of its true-crime “Serial” podcast. Suddenly, podcasts became more well-known and audiences grew. In 2013, just over 10% of the U.S. population listened to podcasts monthly. This year, podcasting will become a $1 billion industry with over 50% of Americans who listen regularly.
Why you listen to Podcasts
The popularity of podcasts comes from incredible storytelling. True crime series have been the most popular genre. These podcasts have become very good at creating a curiosity gap that itches to be closed. Beyond a compelling story, what else is it about podcasts that make them so addictive?
When you think of how our brain interprets messages, an audio-based one seems to thread the needle between the effort of imagination and the joy of focused relaxation. It opens the door to our theater of the mind, which allows us to fill in the sensory gaps needed to bring the story alive.
There’s also the convenience of podcasts. Unlike radio, you can listen to podcasts whenever and wherever you want. You also have your pick of genre. Nowadays, there are a multitude of options and many of your favorite celebrities host their own podcasts. There is definitely something for everyone. So if you haven’t yet explored this medium, give podcasts a try this week!
Carolina Macedo, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys. As you are reading this blog, Carolina is tuned into the latest marketing podcast.