Cody N. Tackett
Although I wouldn’t consider myself to be an “avid” podcast listener, I do occasionally listen to podcasts that pertain to some of my favorite shows. For example, there is a podcast called the Critical Cast in which the host who only identifies himself as the “Critical Android” discusses TV shows, with a large emphasis on one of my favorite TV series, Frasier, which appears to be their favorite show as well. The show is solely uploaded to Youtube, however, with the visual portion of their uploads only being a title card accompanied by the audio of the podcast. I only listened to their episodes that pertained to Frasier as it was the only shows on their topic list that I enjoyed watching. In each episode, the hosts would pick one episode of Frasier (in order throughout the 11 seasons) and would discuss the episode in detail by pointing out the highlights as well as what was done well by the actors, writers, and director, or what could’ve been done better to improve the episode.
The probable reason that I don’t listen to podcasts more is that I enjoy reading about the topics I enjoy hearing about rather than listening to people talk about those topics on a podcast. I find myself “zoning out” when I’m listening to podcasts whereas when I read about the topics covered in the same podcasts, I find myself very engaged in the topic. I see their appeal, however, as one can put a podcast on while cleaning their home or driving to work which makes the experience less time-consuming than reading, as reading requires putting everything else aside and sitting down to focus.
I’m actually surprised that podcasting has remained relevant in our present time. Much like listenership in radio, I figured that podcasting too would take a “dive” in use and popularity. Podcasts do have a “one-up” on the radio in that they can be downloaded to listen to on any device without needing a radio or good reception through an antenna, However, I’ve noticed that radio stations are trying to salvage their market shares by offering their broadcasts online and thus closely resembling a podcast format. Some radio stations have even cut out the expensive transmitting equipment and FCC paperwork to shift to an online, “podcasting” format.
According to Bloomberg.com however, Podcasting listenership hasn’t shrunk, but the number of new podcasting debuting in recent years has become increasingly smaller. Furthermore, none of the top 10 most viewed podcasts have debuted in the last two years. Most of the popular podcasts today first aired (an average) of 7 years ago. I believe that there is an obvious shift in produced shows going towards filmed formats rather than audio-only, as audio places limits on what can be achieved in a podcast. For example, shows on Youtube such as Good Mythical Morning often have episodes in which a visual aspect is required such as when the two hosts perform eating challenges or rate food items from different restaurants. Yes, this could be achieved in a Podcast format but the appealing aspect of actually being able to view what is being reviewed or rated will add to the show’s appeal.
- Shaw, Lucas. “Podcasting Hasn’t Produced a New Hit in Years.” Bloomberg. 9th January 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-01-09/podcasting-hasn-t-produced-a-new-hit-in-years#:~:text=While%20the%20overall%20audience%20for,years%2C%20according%20to%20Edison%20Research.
- The Critical Android Podcast: “The Frasier Analysis Remastered Special. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0fJBsPceMw&t=82s
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