While teaching at Salisbury University this semester, several of the students in my Leadership Studies course have worked feverishly to make the case that podcasts are boring and should be disregarded as a legitimate medium for conveying information across the world wide web. Normally, I would listen intently and take notes as this demographic of honors-level and almost-twenty-something students speak about trends in popular culture. However, I just plain disagree… and the statistics are not in favor of the podcasting skeptics on this one.
In a consumer research study published in March of 2017, Edison Research found the following statistics…
40% of Americans have listened to a podcast
This percentage point equates to 112 million Americans age 12 and older who have listened to a podcast at least once in their lifetime, which is up 11 percent from 2016.
24% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month
This percentage point means that 67 million Americans age 12 and older have tuned into a podcast within 30 days of the polling date in January-February of 2017. This number has increased 14 percent in the last year.
60% of Americans know the term “podcast”
Familiarity does not equate to general podcast listening and overall enjoyment, but familiarity does create a foundational avenue for trends in listening standards. When six in ten Americans do anything, you better believe that marketers and politicians are paying attention. And 60% of Americans age 12 and older are now familiar with what podcasts have to offer.
With this consumer research in mind, I have decided to build a quick starting point playlist of “must listen” episodes for those who think podcasts are boring. I’m looking at you SU Honors Leadership Studies students. This list is curated for you (and any others who may stumble upon them). Enjoy these podcast episodes this summer, my skeptical friends.
// Listen Up:: A Playlist of Podcasts //
((curated for the skeptics))
Students and Teachers – Hidden Brain (by Shankar Vedantam and NPR)
Why Textbooks Prices Keep Climbing – Planet Money (by NPR)
Mandela: An Audio History – Radio Diaries (by RadioLab)
Moon Graffiti – The Truth (by Radiotopia)
Devil’s Rope – 99% Invisible (by Roman Mars)
Embrace the Chaos – Hidden Brain (by Shankar Vedantam and NPR)
The School – Embedded (by Kelly McEvers and NPR)
Object Anyway – More Perfect (by RadioLab)
The Big Man Can’t Shoot – Revisionist History Podcast (by Malcolm Gladwell)
Andra Day – Forever Mine – Song Exploder (by Hrishikesh Hirway)
Getting Unstuck – Hidden Brain (by Shankar Vedantam and NPR)
The History of Light – Planet Money (by NPR)
U2 – Cedarwood Road – Song Exploder (by Hrishikesh Hirway)
Zappos: Tony Hsieh – How I Built This (by Guy Raz and NPR)
The 25 Million Dollar Kiss – The Way I Heard It (By Mike Rowe)