The Podcast Explosion. Are You Listening?

Three and a half years ago, two of my cousins separately asked me, "Are you listening to Serial?" I had no idea what they were talking about. "The podcast," they continued. "It's so good. You should listen to it."

And that's how it began. First, I had to go to the Podcast app on my smart phone. If you have an iPhone, the app comes pre-installed. If you have an Android phone, you can find podcasts on Spotify or Google Play. Second, I searched for and subscribed to "Serial." It was very easy to download the shows to my phone.

I quickly listened to all the available episodes and eagerly awaited the weekly release of new ones. In Serial, podcast host Sarah Koenig investigates the case of missing high-school senior Hae Min Lee and her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who was sentenced to life in prison for her murder. Adnan has always maintained his innocence. It's a compelling, real-life story with great investigative reporting. Like my cousins, I was hooked.

Consumers Prefer On-Demand

If you like services like Netflix that allow you to watch movies and TV on-demand, that's one reason why podcasts are booming in popularity. Whether you like comedy, mystery, or business, you can listen to what you want, when you want it. Another benefit of audio over video is that you can multi-task, listening to entertaining or educational content while doing other things. For example, I enjoy listening to podcasts during my daily commute, while doing chores like washing the dishes, or while exercising.

According to a recent Variety article, "Apple Podcasts... features more than 500,000 active podcasts, including content in more than 100 languages." You can find everything from general interest to very specific niche shows. The diversity is enormous. Here are a few shows currently in my rotation:

Podcast Statistics

Here's a great infographic from Concordia University Saint Paul.


From Listener to Podcaster

After consuming podcasts, I decided to produce one. The Inspired Money podcast was born on September 1, 2017 and it's been quite an adventure. In four months, over the course of 27 episodes, I've interviewed actors, entrepreneurs, investors, musicians, non-profit leaders, and even a 2-time world record holder mountaineer. The show has received thousands of downloads from listeners in 28 countries! I learn something from every conversation and hope that you will too.

If you haven't listened yet, please check it out and let us know what you think. If you've enjoyed the show, please share a favorite episode with someone you know. I'm told that the #1 way to discover podcasts is by word of mouth. That's how it started for me. I hope that you'll find enjoyment listening to and sharing podcasts like me. Who knows... you may end up launching one too.

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

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About the Author: Andrew Wang

Andrew Wang


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