Why Podcasts Have Become So Popular in 2021

Why are podcasts popular?

When the coronavirus took the world by surprise in 2020, people around the globe had no choice but to stay inside their homes to avoid contracting the virus. Fast forward to 2021, and everything has changed. The way people work, maintain relationships, and adjust to the necessary health and safety precautions are just some of the daily challenges.

Among the many things that changed during this time was how we spent our free time. 

Outdoor activities were limited (or wholly forbidden, especially at the height of the coronavirus outbreak) due to the outbreak. Hence, people had to look for other ways to learn new things and stay entertained — this is where podcasts come in.

In 2019, only about 32% of Americans reported listening to podcasts at least once a month. This number rose to 37% in 2020 and might grow even in the post-pandemic times!

Don't worry about it if you haven't hopped on the podcast bandwagon yet. You'll be joining the 67% of the population that haven't. But if you're wondering what's been drawing so many people in, here are the top 5 reasons why podcasts are popular:

1. People can multitask

white laptop and brown chops-stick

Did you know that people typically consume online content for about 10 to 20 seconds before deciding if it's worth viewing further? That's how long it takes for people to close a webpage. It also includes the time they scroll down to the next post or tap on the following video. The good thing about podcasts, and the reason it is popular, is that it allows people to multitask while consuming content. Thus, they feel like they're hitting two birds with one stone.

You could be deep cleaning your entire house while listening to a true-crime podcast or perhaps driving to the grocery store while listening to something about the history of Greek mythology, and the list goes on. Others prefer listening to a conversational or advice-driven podcast, too! 

2. Diverse podcast options

People love having the freedom to choose what content they consume. Podcasts offer a new option for people instead of listening to music, radio shows, or the dozens of ads that come with them. Podcasts help people learn more about things they want to know.

There's pretty much a podcast out there for everyone. Some podcasts provide practical tips, life survival skills, or even basic 'adulting' skills like how to open a bank account and whatnot.

Some podcasts focus on sharing their expertise in different fields - podcasts about space, marine life, the chemical composition of food, how things were invented, and more!

Conspiracy theories and debunking myths? Pop culture and celebrities? Current events, sports analysis, and how to grow your business? Check, check and check!

You don't even need to go to page two (2) of Google to find a podcast you're interested in, and it's easy to find something that will tickle your fancy.

3. Packed with fun, informative knowledge

woman covering her face with white book

People can learn a lot from listening to podcasts. Podcasters typically conversationally conduct their recordings, making listeners feel like they're listening to a friend rather than a lecture.

True enough, there are educational podcasts out there, but those aren't the only genre getting people's attention. Comedy, news, and true crime topped the charts regarding the type of podcasts people listened to in 2020.

Some have even said podcasts make it easier to learn a topic as long as it's explained by the podcaster engagingly. Thus, making it easier to pick up valuable information.

4. The space for collaboration is unbelievable

A popular trend among podcasts is that they interview industry leaders. Some podcasts host interview-type episodes where they'll talk to someone well-renowned in their field of expertise. This typically happens in entrepreneurial-themed podcasts where hosts speak to CEOs, founders, or other hotshots across different industries.

Podcast creators can also collaborate with other podcast creators to create content that their audiences appreciate. 

Take these, for example:

  • A podcast focusing on science and another podcast focusing on history can collaborate to dissect both the sociopolitical and scientific sides of a historical phenomenon, like the effects of nuclear weapons on countries post-war. 
  • A nutritionist can team up with a sports and health enthusiast to discuss the importance of both diet and exercise.
  • A life coach can team up with a teen podcaster to talk about the frequently asked questions about adult life and vice-versa. 

And we haven't even gotten into comedy, sports, and news! The possibilities of collaborations in podcasts are genuinely endless.

5. They create a community

people sitting on ground while forming round during daytime

Since podcasters initiate a conversation with their listeners, building a community of people with similar interests (supporting a cause, advocacy, or even brands) is now a piece of cake! 

Podcasters can grow their community by: 

  • Providing relevant information to their listeners
  • Reaching out to other podcasters
  • Uploading their podcasts on different social media platforms
  • Providing social proof to potential listeners

Communities formed in podcasts are more intimate and engaging… listeners can make suggestions on future topics, they can listen to an episode multiple times in a day, and most importantly, podcasts appeal directly to an already interested audience.

Conclusion

Nowadays, with people looking for new ways to consume content that matters to them, podcasts have become more relevant. They entertain and educate listeners and give them the chance to support a good cause and advocacy. Brands can even make use of podcasts, too!

It's not too late to look for a podcast that you'll love. Platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts help make podcasts accessible to everyone! Take a look at their selection today to find the perfect value-adding episode to listen to as you go about your day.

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