In preparation for my first ever podcast this week, I decided it made sense to understand the evolution of podcasts in case there was a quiz or something. Fortunately, there wasn’t, and the whole process proved relatively painless. In fact, Carmen Reed-Gilkison, founder of Side Hustle Rage, created such a comfortable exchange, I nearly forgot that the conversation wouldn’t just be kept between us. Although I’m awaiting the official air date, the projection is between late February, early March. We shall see…

Before my conversation on collaboration airs, I’ll be reflecting on some podcasting realities, while continuing to follow my own favorites podcasts.

The Roots and Relevance of Podcasts

First things first, a podcast is an audio broadcast, whose name is a mashup of “iPod,” and “broadcast.” If you broadcast on a podcast, you’re a podcaster, engaged in podcasting. Easy enough.

How did this pod-business begin to blossom?

Between the efforts of former MTV Video Jockey, Adam Curry, and RSS feed developer Dave Winer, podcasting launched. What this meant was that listeners could access audio content pretty much whenever they wanted. Not long after, developers enhanced the existing code, quickly allowing just about anyone to become the host of their very own podcast.

As outlined in “History of Podcasting,” more technical developments made the podcasting process easier and more accessible to listeners. Blogging became integral to the popularity of podcasting and the number of podcast listeners is higher than ever. Good news for marketers, when you consider the 20 Stats About the 2017 Podcast Consumer.

Jay Baer at Convince&Convert, presents arguably even more engaging facts about the current pace of podcasting in “The 11 Critical Podcast Statistics of 2017.” For instance, listening to a podcast is now more common than Catholicism, when you consider that 24% of Americans listen to podcasts and only 21% of the population identifies as Catholic. Or, how about this? A whopping 42 million tune into to a podcast on a weekly basis, which represents five times more than those who go to the movies. I might argue that money plays a role here, given that the cost of listening to a podcast is nil or negligible compared to a movie ticket.

So, the relevance of podcasts really can’t be overstated. And while the above numbers suggest that really nobody is new to podcasts, for any of you who are, the following are a few of my all-time favorites…

Current Podcast Faves

Although there are so many podcasts to choose from, it’s obvious that my love of stories and storytelling really informs my current top five favorites…

The Moth

I began listening to this while commuting more than two hours each day for a job that just wasn’t for me. While the commute sucked, this podcast made those miles more bearable. Highly recommend for anyone who loves honest storytelling across a range of topics, represented by diverse voices.

The Tim Ferriss Show

As a fan of Tribe of Mentors and Tools of Titans, it’s not surprising that Tim Ferriss would top my list of favorite podcasts.

Serial

Ideal for fans of This American Life and anyone who likes true stories, rife with plot twists and mystery.

Modern Love

I read The New York Times’ Modern Love column every week and have recently started listening to some beloved authors and artists read their work, or the work of others, in this podcast.

Side Hustle Rage

No, not just because this was my very first podcast experience and I loved every minute of it. In the weeks leading up to my interview, I listened to Side Hustle Rage and really appreciate the format and the frank conversations about the challenges inherent in entrepreneurial life and being your own boss.

Share your favorite podcasts in the comments! We’d love to know what you’re listening to as we move onward into the new year…

 

Homework: The History and Hype Surrounding Podcasts

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