Opinion: Podcasts are the future of audio

Podcasts+are+rising+in+popularity%2C+leading+to+a+spike+in+both+the+listening+to+and+creation+of+podcasts.
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Opinion: Podcasts are the future of audio

Podcasts are rising in popularity, leading to a spike in both the listening to and creation of podcasts.

Podcasts are rising in popularity, leading to a spike in both the listening to and creation of podcasts.

Maddy Ting

Podcasts are rising in popularity, leading to a spike in both the listening to and creation of podcasts.

Maddy Ting

Maddy Ting

Podcasts are rising in popularity, leading to a spike in both the listening to and creation of podcasts.

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The average American spends more than 4.5 hours each day listening to music. But in a few years, that may change. 

This is not because music is going out of style. Rather, a new trend is coming to the forefront, rising in popularity throughout the past couple of years.

Please welcome to the stage … podcasts!

As humanity continues to feed their addiction to technology, electronic reporting has become the norm for news outlets. Why buy a newspaper when you can get the news at a click of a button or, better yet, delivered right to your email in a handy-dandy newsletter?

The alternative? Listen to a podcast, so you don’t have to read and strain your brain.

The internet is revolutionizing our lives every day as we push the boundaries of what we can achieve with technology. According to Pew Research Center, 93% of all U.S. adults get their news online. By 2040, that percentage could reach 100% once we all have chips implanted in our brains so we can get the news whenever we want.

As of right now, there are 700,000 active podcasts and more than 29 million podcast episodes, according to Music Oomph’s statistics on podcasts. This number continues to rise rapidly as more and more people realize the potential that podcasts hold. 

Potential for what, you ask?

Maddy Ting
The number of podcast listeners in the U.S. is rising rapidly, projected to reach 90 million by the end of 2019.

For starters, podcasts give traditional news outlets a new way to present content.

According to Pew Research Center, 71% of all major news outlets release podcasts. Surprised? Don’t be. We’re not even counting student publications.

Where the media goes, the people go too. Podcasts aren’t limited to news; in fact, many people create podcasts simply to share their own unique quirks with the world.

If real reporting doesn’t appeal to you, why not listen to the wildly popular Potterless Podcast, a podcast that, as you may have guessed, revolves around Harry Potter.

Corporations are also finding that podcasts are a great way to advertise or do something new with their merchandise. Did you know eBay has their own podcast? 

While podcasts have found their way into our hearts, they’ve also found their way into our schools. Education Week discovered that teachers are using podcasts as educational tools now more than ever. Even kindergartners are making their own episodes!

The podcast revolution is taking over the online world, one sound byte at a time. But is this a bad thing? I would argue no.

As the leader of Scot Scoop’s first podcast, Queer Time Podcast, and also dubbed the “Podcast Guru,” I have more experience recording and dealing with podcasts than the average person. While many are willing to cast off podcasts as an irrelevant news source, I am not.

Podcasts give a layer of emotion to journalism that cold, black text on a white screen cannot. The inflection of one’s words, the emphasis on tone, the personality, it’s all lost in a typical article. But not in podcasts.

And it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey too. Podcasting is a transformative experience, one that is both enlightening and surreal. Talking to a computer screen for three hours straight is something that I never imagined myself doing, but in the past nine months, I’ve already done that and more.

Wow, nine months already? It feels like yesterday that we were fooling around, trying to perfect our radio voices. 

Spoiler alert: mine is still a work in progress.

More people are listening to podcasts than you think. But there’s always room on the bandwagon.

Want to tune in to the podcast experience? Try it sometime. I promise you that you won’t regret it.

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