Required Listening

Collage by Aylea Skye/ Original Images by Unknown Sources

Collage by Aylea Skye/ Original Images by Unknown Sources

Picture this. You’re on the tube back from work and luckily you’ve managed to get a seat despite getting on at rush hour. As you settle down and get comfortable for what will be a ten stop journey, you put your headphones on and notice that you’re not the only one attached to a small electronic device, most people on the carriage are also listening to something. Whether it’s music, an audiobook or a podcast ( which is your current audio of choice); everyone is plugged in.

It goes without saying that podcasts are more popular than ever. According to the 2017 MIDAS Audio Survey by the Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR), 6.1 million people in the UK listen to a podcast in any given week, with a quarter listening while travelling.

In 2018, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a favourite podcast, follow their favourite podcasters on social media and engage in the podcast-related hashtags. At the very least, you’ll have been recommended one or two by an enthusiastic listener. So it seems like the question, ‘Do you listen to?’ (which is becoming as popular as ‘Have you seen?’) is helping to start conversations everywhere.

A quick Google search for podcasts and you’ll see thousands of articles with headlines like, ‘Best Podcasts For XXX’ or ‘Listen To These Podcasts If You’re…’ with writers citing a different series each time. Clearly, 2018 is looking like another good year for podcasts.

So, what it is about them that makes them so popular?

Our relationship audio content has definitely evolved over the years and is consistently changing. We’re looking for fresh ways to engage, connect with and consume content. We're looking for something that isn’t already out there... Enter podcasts, which have been around for over a decade but have been gaining more popularity in recent years. Regardless of your interests, there is something for everyone; whether that be culture, literature, relationships, health, travel, true crime, history, science, etc. There’s so much choice that if you don’t like it, you can easily find one that you do.

However, that’s just where the appeal begins. Whether they be podcasts backed by publications (in an effort to keep people to return to their site), strangers who band together to start something new or long-time friends in a casual setting; there’s a personable quality that never goes amiss in podcast format. Being able to listen to other people give their opinions, stray from the conversation and crack jokes, as well as learning from their experiences – much like conversations you would have with friends – seems to be a winning formula and is often why so many people are tuning in to podcasts and returning episode after episode.

Central to all of this is that podcasts are a good representative of the DIY generation. The generation that creates their own positions, platforms and communities. We all have something to say. Podcasts offer the perfect platform to do so.

Some required listening:

- The Goop Podcast

- Stuff You Should Know

- The Heart

- Blanguage

- The Read