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Why Are Podcasts So Popular?

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Why Are Podcasts So Popular

There was once a time when nobody knew what a podcast was, and then suddenly, they became the ‘it’ thing that everyone was listening to.

The podcast’s success is due to several factors, so it’s up to the individual to decide why they love them.

Why are podcasts so popular? Podcasts are popular because they cover more niche topics, can be enjoyed on your schedule, can be listened to while doing other things, and are easily accessible.

Compared to watching TV or turning on the radio, podcasts offer many benefits that make them a better fit for the modern listener.

We’ve got all the top responses if you’ve never listened to a podcast before or want to know what makes them so popular.

We’ll also cover the history of podcasts and how trendy they’ve become today to give you an idea of their future.

📋 Key Takeaways

  • 🎧 Versatility & Convenience: Podcasts fit seamlessly into busy lifestyles, allowing for multitasking and on-demand listening.
  • 📚 Diverse Content: A vast range of topics caters to niche interests, making podcasts appealing to a wide audience.
  • 📱 Accessibility: Easy access through various devices and platforms enhances the listener experience.
  • 👥 Community Engagement: Podcasts often foster a sense of community and intimacy, connecting listeners with hosts and each other.

The History of Podcasts

history of podcasts

Today’s podcasts are a little different from how they started in the 1980s when they used to be called ‘audio blogging’.

This form of media was recorded by bloggers who wanted to share their thoughts with others. on a specific topic, and they would make a recording and then share it with others manually.

When the Internet came into being, audio blogging was much easier to share with others online, as it offered a place to download the MP3 file onto their listening device.

As one of the more common devices, the iPod was used for this, the term ‘podcasting’ was coined by a journalist named Ben Hammersley before being added to the iTunes Music Lshare their thoughts with othersibrary as its own category in 2005.

➡️ What is a Podcast?

The Popularity of Podcasts Today

today's podcast popularity

Today, podcasts are one of the primary reasons for memberships to streaming services. At least three million podcast series have been created since 2005, and at least 60 million episodes are available to listen to. There’s no shortage of topics, creators, or content to enjoy.

Podcasting has become a lucrative business for those involved, with one of the most notable podcasters, comedian Joe Rogan, signing a deal for his podcast series with Spotify worth $100 million.

For regular podcasters, there are loads of ways to monetize this type of content while still discussing something you’re passionate about with the world, making it popular on both ends.

Today, podcasting has a much wider reach, with almost 60% of Americans aged 12 and over listening to podcasts regularly.

The number continues to grow, with statistics showing that the average number of listeners has doubled in the last decade and will continue to grow.

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What Makes Podcasts So Good?

The allure of the podcast isn’t just for one or two reasons, but the many ways that it gives people a personal listening experience that they can enjoy on their own terms.

Here are just six of the most common reasons people give for why they love listening to podcasts.

#1 Tailored listening experience

listening podcast experience

We now live in the age of content curation, where everyone can decide exactly what they want to watch, listen to, and enjoy.

Having a multitude of streaming services on your devices and choosing content that specifically aligns with your interests is one of the reasons why people are drawn to podcasts.

A podcast can be as niche or as broad as you want it to be, whether it’s one discussing the latest episode of their favorite TV show or just comedians dissecting the week’s entertainment news in general.

When finding a podcast, the listener has a massive selection of topics and content to choose from, and the sheer variety is what sets it apart from other forms of media.

This range of content means everything is always fresh and relevant, which is hard to come by in other types of media.

#2 Enjoy them on your schedule

podcast listening on demand

As people are busier than ever these days, having enjoyable content that they can listen to when it suits them is a must.

It’s no longer feasible to screen a TV show that only comes on once, with most people now streaming their movies, programs, and podcasts to suit their own schedules.

Podcasts give people access to content they can listen to as they choose, whether it’s just 10 minutes a day or for a few hours.

There’s no need to listen to them quickly as they remain available for years through streaming platforms, and you can even replay an episode as many times as you like.

This no-pressure feel of podcasts is attractive, as it means the audience decides when and how they consume them.

#3 Easy to access

podcast ease of access

If you can access the internet, you can listen to a podcast, so it’s just that easy.

It’s as simple as streaming it from the creator’s website or using a streaming platform like Spotify or iTunes. In addition to being easy to access with a device, podcasts also reach others with accessibility issues.

Podcasts are an easily accessible form of entertainment and information for people who may have issues going to public spaces like libraries or the movies, including those with medical impairments or disabilities or who cannot leave their homes for whatever reason.

They’re an inclusive media form that all kinds of people can enjoy from any walk of life and you can make them work on your terms.

#4 Free to listen to

podcast listening free

Podcast accessibility also relates to their costs. Most podcasts are free to listen to, as long as listeners have the internet available to stream them.

When compared to other streaming services that play movies and TV shows, this free form of entertainment is a major drawcard and it’s also helpful for people who find the rising cost of all of their digital media to be overwhelming.

Most audio streaming platforms, like Spotify and iTunes, offer free membership plans allowing people to listen to their favorite podcast series with just a few ads in the middle.

Other times, you can download it onto your device using public WiFi and listen to it later at home or in the car.

For the podcast creator, there are still plenty of ways to make money with the content, so it won’t impact you negatively, but it’s a major bonus for your audience that they can tune in for free.

#5 Multitasking friendly

podcast multitasking

We all love to feel as though we’re doing the most but still enjoy the things that matter to us. Podcasts are perfect for this very reason because they’re one of the most multitasking-friendly forms of media out there.

Unlike movies or TV shows, you can play a podcast in the background and get other things done because you don’t need to watch anything to enjoy it.

People report listening to podcasts while doing various activities, such as driving, cleaning their houses, doing arts and crafts, or cooking dinner.

The ability to absorb the podcast content while doing other chores or hobbies makes it a little easier to manage your time and helps ease the burden of some of those you don’t enjoy so much.

#6 Intimacy and community

podcast community

When you’re listening to a podcast presenter speak, or if they’re having a conversation with someone else on their show, you can’t help but feel like you’re a part of it.

The natural flow of a podcast attracts listeners because it’s far more intimate than watching TV or hearing a radio DJ speak and has a more conversational feel.

On a broader scale, listening to podcasts helps to connect you to the community that also enjoys them.

Whether it’s a niche topic on a hobby you love or a podcast discussing political news, the thought that you’re joining other like-minded people to listen to someone speak builds a true sense of community and helps you feel connected.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why have podcasts become so popular?

Podcasts offer a unique blend of convenience, variety, and depth, allowing listeners to explore a wide range of topics anytime, anywhere.

What makes podcasts a preferred choice for many?

The appeal lies in their on-demand nature and the ability to multitask while listening, which answers why are podcasts so popular among diverse audiences.

How do podcasts cater to niche interests?

With the vast array of topics, podcasts provide specialized content that traditional media often overlooks, contributing to why have podcasts become so popular.

Are podcasts changing the way we consume media?

Yes, they’re reshaping media consumption by offering a personalized and flexible listening experience, underscoring why are podcasts so popular.

What future trends can we expect in podcasting?

Continued growth and innovation in content and technology will further solidify why have podcasts become so popular, enhancing their role in digital media.


listening podcast on phone walking

The Power of the Podcast

Podcasts are a unique form of modern media that can change the way you consume content, and all for the better. if you’re considering starting a podcast of your own and want to know what draws listeners in, making sure it ticks all of the above boxes is a good start.


Brett Robinson

Head of content and marketing over at Wired Clip HQ. I'm an Audio enthusiast and have been interested in anything from microphones to speakers. I am the lead guitarist for a small band and my main passion is editing our tracks.

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