Bored while cleaning? Stuck in traffic? Can’t find any new music?
Try listening to a podcast!
Since the creation of the internet, different mediums have come and gone. Now, on the up and up is podcasting. Currently, there are over two million podcasts globally and the numbers are rising, according to the website PodcastHosting.
Many compare podcasts to talk radio shows, but there are a few small distinctions.
Podcasts are pre-recorded episodes usually anywhere from five minutes to two hours that are posted to podcast-streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Player FM and even YouTube. These episodes are aired on a schedule, while radio shows are broadcast live.
Not only does this allow for podcasts to be edited, but it also means that they can be more vulgar in their language and content, as they are not governed by the Federal Communications Commission.
There are many arguments about when podcasting was really created. Because of its similarities to radio, it is challenging to pinpoint exactly when they started.
But, many give credit to Adam Curry and Dave Winer for creating the first podcast, according to International Podcast Day. They first released and distributed two shows titled “Daily Source Code” and “Morning Coffee Notes” in 2004 that kickstarted the trend of pre-recorded talk shows.
Janice Johnson, a speech-language pathologist for Snohomish School District said she thinks podcasts are becoming so popular because people are drawn to what others have to say about topics that are important to them.
“When I'm listening to a podcast it’s like I’m able to stimulate my brain in a different way than music could, it’s like I'm listening to my friend talk,” Kimberley Lee, co-host of the “Our Hollywood” podcast said.
There is a huge variety of topics that are covered in podcasts. Given the number of podcasts out there, everyone is bound to find something they are interested in.
Even news organizations have hopped on the bandwagon of podcasting as a new form of communication with audiences. Western Washington University’s student publication, The Front, started a podcast this past April called “The ForeFront.”
“The ForeFront” highlights stories that have been posted on The Front website and dives deeper into them.
“I love podcasts because I get to learn without it feeling like learning,” Abby Price, a third-year student at Boise State University said. “It feels more personal, almost like a conversation, which makes it much more enjoyable.”
Podcasts can be used as a tool to create conversations on topics that aren’t typically discussed in more formal mediums. Given that podcasts can remain uncensored, there is more opportunity to normalize discussing more taboo topics. They can also be great for education on current news, trends, societal issues and virtually any topic someone is interested in.
“I feel like [podcasts] show you more authenticity, especially because of the long-form nature of podcasts,” Micheal Balingit, co-host of “Nothing Outside” podcast, said.
Here are some notable podcasts sorted by category:
“Pretty Big Deal” with Ashley Graham
Supermodel Graham uses this podcast to dive deep into society’s beauty standards, exercise and diet culture and media’s influence. Her episodes have featured many famous guests such as Kim Kardashian West, Gabrielle Union and Lindsey Vonn.
“The Michelle Obama Podcast” with Michelle Obama
The former first lady talks with guests, who are most often her colleagues, friends or family, about human connection. Her discussions touch on mentorship, relationships and how to navigate communication.
“Armchair Expert” with Dax Shephard
This Emmy-nominated podcast talks about the “messiness of being human.” Shephard and his guests discuss topics like mental health, daily struggles and privilege.
“Frenemies” with Ethan Klein and Trisha Paytas
This unexpected pair, Klein and Paytas, took the internet by storm with their first episode released in Sept. 2020. The two discuss internet culture, do challenges and have even called out other YouTubers for their behaviors online.
“Tiny Meat Gang” with Cody Ko and Noel Miller
Comedians, Ko and Miller, started their podcast in 2018 where they crack jokes and discuss current trends, celebrity drama and internet culture. The two started their careers as YouTubers and have expanded to other mediums like podcasting and live shows, pre-COVID-19.
“Impaulsive” with Logan Paul
Known for his crazy vlogs, Paul started a podcast to talk with guests about everything under the sun. Every episode, he brings on famous guests, such as Mike Tyson, JoJo Siwa and Jordan Belfort, to interview them about their careers and the social media world.
“Serial” with Sarah Koenig
One of the most successful podcasts right now, Koenig deep dives into one true crime story each season of her show. Her podcast is seen as storytelling, following the characters of the crime and laying out their motives and the twists and turns of the investigation.
“Crime Junkie” with Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat
These two discuss a new crime in each episode. From unsolved crimes to famous cases, they lay them out like a story so they are easy to follow to keep their listeners interested.
“Unlocking Us” with Brene Brown
Brown talks about the universal experience of being human as she explores different ideas, books, movies and music that connect us all. Her work encourages people to live courageously with love and empathy.
“Every Little Thing” with Flora Lichtman
On this podcast, Lichtman lets her audience ask questions, ranging in seriousness, through a hotline and email and formulates episodes that answer these questions. She brings in experts and guests educated for each episode. They give background on the question and discuss the answer to each question.
“The Daily” with Michael Barbaro
This podcast, started by The New York Times, gives a 20-minute recap on all of the pressing stories that day. Released Monday through Friday at 6 a.m., the podcast presents news in a short, exciting way.
“Pod Save America” with Dan Pfieffer, Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett
Former President Barack Obama aides team up with current journalists to decode the news about politics and let people know what they should be paying attention to.
Torie Wold (she/her) is an opinion reporter for The Front. She is a second-year student, majoring in Visual Journalism. Her work focuses on creating an open space for students, faculty, and community members to be able to share their experiences and views on current news. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.