Invasion of the Ear Snatchers – Blog 3
Over the last several years, I have witnessed several micro trends in the podcast communities that I frequent. These include mainly the advancement and accessibility of the technology necessary to make a podcast. The reliability of the technology has played a huge roll in whether podcasters were willing to work on the road. Several of the hosts of IronRadio for instance, either have guest calls/Skype-ins or record the show while on the road. I remember some of the earlier shows being a real shot in the dark when hosts were conferencing while on the road. Well, the future is now; we have the technology.
Hardware aside, the Casters are all looking for more and more ways to track their analytics and connect with their viewers. The before mentioned Ironradio had long since used email and Facebook, but many of the younger generation are asking viewers to connect through LinkedIn (OilField Basics), Instagram, or even Twitter (IQ2US). Even some big name players are recording the video of themselves making the podcast and uploading it to YouTube where the same material has a chance to be monetized, often a second time (JoeRogan Experience).
Those are just what I call the micro trends I’ve personally been noticing. On a larger scale however I was unaware of the more impressive macro-trends surrounding the Podcast community; the Digital News Report 2019 did a recent survey of 75,000 people it was revealed that over half of people under 35 listen to at least one podcast a month, even going so far as to refer to this group as a “plugged-in smart phone generation” (Fletcher et al., 2019).
As you can infer from the above graph, there is a surprisingly large number of people relying on podcasts for, presumably as I do, news and entertainment. There is understandably a plethora of reasons why Millennials and Zoomers are turning their backs to the MainStream Media and instead embracing alternative media sources like podcasts. A few of these reasons were touched on in the Digital News Report 2019, explaining that “no matter how good reporting may be, if people do not salute it, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on public opinion and knowledge” (Fletcher et al., 2019). The following data from the report helped explain the reasoning behind leaving traditional media behind.
Pay special attention to the mere 16% of people that the Reuters Institute found were agreeing that the media uses the right tone; another paltry 29% felt the topics covered were relevant to them (Fletcher et al., 2019).
It is my strong belief that these statistics show how the chichi reporting of mainstream media has caused people to reach into the cornucopia of podcasts for seemingly custom tailored news reporting. Reporting no less on topics they are interested in and conveyed in a tone people both enjoy and relate to.
Podcasts are by and large a positive ‘personal’ experience for most people; however, there may be some downsides to the masses of the under 35 crowd diving into the realm of podcasts, but that’s for another blog.
And here’s my name to say so.
Fletcher, R., Kalogeropoulos, A., Newman, N. (2019). Digital News Report 2019. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 49-61. Retrieved from