The Incredulous Popularity of Podcasting

The world has always leaned toward being more visual. Technology advanced from the Golden Age of Radio to a more visual form of entertainment known as a movie. At the same time, the inception of television was also beginning. It wasn’t before long that television was developed and movies could be viewed in the privacy of your home. As time progressed, how come podcasting, which more closely resembles the old-time radio shows of yesterday, has become so popular in the last few years?

A podcast is a great alternative to listening to music. If you’re tired of hearing what’s on the radio or the same songs on your streaming service, you can switch to a recorded show. Unlike a radio show, which is usually dominated by news or sports talking heads, you can always choose a topic of interest. The medium has evolved so much that there are nearly a few shows on every topic you can possibly think of. 

Podcasts allow anyone to have a platform. You can choose your co-host(s), your crew, your guests, and your topics of discussion. Podcast hosts can even choose what ads to read and what music intros/outros to play, resulting in some really creative control. In the purest form of podcasting, you can talk about what you want without pitching the idea to a major television studio or getting studio interference about your content or pacing. As with every successful art form, big-budget production (and its drawbacks) is also possible.

The opposite is also true as the platform pushes forward. Podcasting networks, similar to a television network, are not exactly a recent development but they are starting to pop up more often. Spotify Originals & Exclusives have usually ruled the Spotify charts due to their increased budget, production, and marketing. The networks can also produce a professional show from the get-go for celebrities and public figures like Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Draymond Green, and Dave Chappelle. 

Media has always been a celebrity-dominated space but who knew that the most popular podcast would be helmed by the host of “Fear Factor.” Although Rogan juggled the show and UFC commentating, his transition to hosting The Joe Rogan Experience has been his cash cow. He has hosted the likes of Elon Musk, Edward Snowden, Bernie Sanders, and Alex Jones. His ability to interview these seemingly untouchable guests has netted his show millions of listeners. While he has experienced some backlash for his repeated use of the N-word, his show is most likely too big to fail. 

One of the largest podcasts this year has been Batman Unburied. It’s an audio-scripted series created by David S. Goyer and stars Winston Duke as Bruce Wayne. You would think that audiences would be burnt out on Caped Crusader content–since the March 2022 release of Matt Reeve’s “The Batman” –but that is far from the truth. In fact, its two-episode premiere even unseated The Joe Rogan Experience at No. 1 on Spotify’s U.S. podcast charts.

While those are just two examples of popular podcasts, the scene continues to grow multiple branches. If you want a controversial host interviewing controversial public figures, you got it. If you want a popular fictional character starring in a new story, there are a few examples available to listen to now. There are podcasts about true crime, political commentary, comic book news, philosophy analysis, and everything else that comes to mind. Variety and convenience have always been a fixture in entertainment and podcasting is just the latest market that takes advantage of that.