The Rise of Podcasting: A Medium That's Here to Stay

The Rise of Podcasting: A Medium That's Here to Stay

My Take

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular medium in recent years. In fact, more people are listening to podcasts than ever before in the history of the medium. In addition, the listenership is more diverse than ever.

The Growth of Podcasting

Podcasting has come a long way since its inception in the early 2000s. Back then, it was mainly a medium for hobbyists and tech enthusiasts. However, over the years, podcasting has grown in popularity and sophistication, thanks in part to the growth of smartphones and other mobile devices.

I recently attended PodFest Global, an online version of the popular in-person PodFest conference that is held every year. At the event Laura Ivey, the Director of Research at Edison Research presented.

The stats are amazing. To see how far the industry has come from the early days is heartening.

64% of US 12+ population have listened to a podcast. 42% of the US 12+ population has listened to one in the last month and 31% have in the last week.
Podcast familiarity bar chart estimates 237 Million people are listening to podcast right now.

Diverse Listenership

One of the reasons for podcasting’s popularity is its diverse listenership. Unlike traditional media, which tends to appeal to certain demographics, podcasts can cater to a wide range of interests and audiences.

For example, you can find podcasts on everything from cooking and sports to true crime and science fiction. This diversity means that there’s something for everyone, which has helped to fuel the growth of the medium.

According to the presentation by Laura Ivey at PodFest Global, more minorities are listening and producing podcasts than ever before. It’s no longer dominated by white males. In fact from 2013 until now, 10 years, more women are listening to podcast than they once were.

Chart showing that in 10 years from 2013 more women are listening to podcasts

Engagement and Interaction

Another reason for the rise of podcasting is its emphasis on engagement and interaction. Unlike traditional media, where the audience is passive, podcasting encourages listeners to engage with the content and provide feedback.

This engagement can take many forms, from leaving comments and reviews to participating in live shows and events. This interaction creates a sense of community between the hosts and listeners, which can be especially important for niche topics and audiences.

The Future of Podcasting

Given the continued growth and popularity of podcasting, it’s clear that the medium is here to stay. However, the future of podcasting is still uncertain. Some experts predict that the market will become oversaturated, leading to a decline in quality and listenership.

Others believe that podcasting will continue to evolve and grow, becoming an even more important and influential medium. Whatever the future holds, it’s clear that podcasting has come a long way and has a bright future ahead.

So Where Does This Leave Us?

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular medium in recent years, thanks in part to its diverse listenership, emphasis on engagement, and growing sophistication.

The future is bright, it’s clear that podcasting is a medium that’s here to stay. Whether you’re a podcast listener or creator, there’s never been a better time to be part of the podcasting community. Especially with all these great events and organizations sprouting up to help cultivate the community.

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