If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? Okay, I just can't not think of that old motherly saying. But seriously, podcasting is more popular than ever and the industry is just getting bigger everyday. When I was thinking about starting a podcast editing business, I asked around and the words that ignited me, were that there are over a million podcasts, so yeah, there's a strong need for editors out there. Does the world need one more? Absolutely!
Podcasting was born out of iPods in 2003, remember them? Thousands of little mp3s that fit in a box smaller than your Walkman. So speaking of convenience, you no longer had to lug around CDs or cassette tapes. People quickly stopped listening to terrestrial radio as the internet offered new ways to download and stream music. But just as the internet is now something we can't live without, so are podcasts. They are addictive.
It used to be that you really had to explain to people what a podcast was, but not anymore. Today, 197 million Americans (according to Edison Research) have heard about podcasts. In 2006, only 22% of American adults even knew what it was. I started listening to podcasts about 10 years ago when a friend of mine was addicted to reading the Game of Throne books (before HBO) and one of his favorite podcasts was about his favorite book. Now there are hundreds of Game of Throne Podcasts, but can you imagine being the first person to start a podcast on that subject?
My friend filled his work day by listening to podcasts. That's what I love about podcasts. You can listen to a podcast and still get work done. You can listen to a podcast and still clean the house, drive to work, wait at the doctor's office. There are so many ways to listen to podcasts and it's easier now for people to consume podcast than ever. The fact that companies are investing more and more money in these platforms means that we are only at the beginning of this boom!
When you have audio in your ears, that sense is occupied but the others aren't. You can put your eyes on your computer screen, work on school stuff, work stuff, and the next thing you know, an hour has flown by or it's almost time to go home. Of course, it helps if the podcast is about a topic that you are interested in. But even if you aren't particularly into a subject, podcasts give the opportunity to learn about it. 74% of podcast users listen to podcasts to learn something new.
It's easier to absorb the sounds that are being presented to you than it is, to absorb both video and audio. YouTube is very popular, but videos cater to short attention spans. With podcasts, you only having to utilize one sense. You can really dig in and according to the research, people spend more time with one podcasts than they do with one video. Although there are plenty of podcasts on YouTube, they aren't the kind of videos that you have to watch. Your not going to miss anything by looking away. You have a captive set of ears.
Because podcasting is so personable, many listeners feel like podcasters are their friends. It helps to be honest, open, and authentic. If you decide to host a podcast, be prepared to make yourself a little vulnerable. You might want to learn how to take or ignore criticism.
As of March, 2020, 104 million Americans consume podcasts on a monthly basis. 104 million Americans consume podcasts on a monthly basis
And that is why every business, every non-profit, everyone with a story or an idea they want to share needs to start a podcast. And the sooner the better!