Listening to Podcasts

As I have been traveling, I find myself listening to more and more podcasts across a wide variety of genres. I used to listen to a ton of audio books, via audible, but recently, for some reason or another, I have gravitated my listening towards podcast consumption.

Specifically, I enjoy/get the most out of listening to:

  • interesting interviews with a) very successful and b) very unique people. I listen to the YCombinator podcast, Recode and a bunch of random different channels.
  • crime stories – I just listened to S Town and it was incredible. I hugely recommend it to people.
  • weird stories – I like ReplyAll, a podcast by Gimlet Media that always manages to find very interesting and unique stories to tell. The hosts are awesome.

I think, in listening to podcasts, you learn very different material from what you would have learned reading/listening to a bunch of books. Podcasts, though, are surprisingly deep and thought provoking. They are super easy to consume (on 1.5x speed), and they can really open your eyes to different types of topics.

I mentioned I enjoy listening to interviews, generally with really really successful people, because I feel as if I am effectively having an intimate conversation with the guest speaker when hearing their interview. It really is a special thing, being able to dissect the brain of someone that you look up to or want to learn more about.

And then there is this whole other side of podcasting – the relational side – that is maybe hard to put into words but I am certainly going to try to anyways. Basically, just like any form of distant media, as a consumer, you, often times, begin to develop a “relationship” with the host of the show/influencer on the other side.

Podcasts are similar in that way. Except, in my opinion (given I do not watch a lot of television), auditory relationships are new, and more powerful.

Having someone talk directly into your ear for a few hours is an intimate experience.

I think auditory relationships, if that is even a word, make for a very interesting bond between you and the host of a podcast. It is a bond that in my mind is far stronger than one would get watching a television show and more liken to a friend you have in your ear.

They ask the right questions, talk about the right types of topics…and so on and so on.

This relationship is just beginning to be understood by brands and content creators – as I bet we will start to see far more companies (and individuals) investing heavily in audio-first experiences.

While they, being the industry, have been hyping up the podcast space for years, I think, slowly but surely, we are beginning to see the resources and tooling be built out by incumbents.

Inevitable components of this industry including:

  • marketing tools
  • analytics tools
  • production tools
  • consumer tools

The list goes on and on. I see there being a slow but stable rise in podcast consumption until we reach a tipping point – to which audio experiences are commonplace and normal.