Did you know that the word podcast comes from “iPod” and“broadcast”? This term was coined by journalist Ben Hammersley, and it used to be called audio blogging. There are now 2 million active podcast shows – a huge jump from only 500,000 back in February 2018. Without a doubt, the world of audio is on the rise as this trend seems likely to continue thriving in the coming years.
Podcasts have actually been around for a while.
Podcasts go back to the 1980s and it’s exactly like blogging but in audio form – anybody could share their experiences and thoughts via audio recording. However, there was a lack of means to distribute the recordings. In the early 2000s, the popularity of portable audio devices allowed these “audio blogs” to be transferred to these players as MP3 files. With the iPod taking society by storm at the time, audio blog content and its accessibility peaked and that’s when the word “podcast” was born.
So how did podcasts become so popular?
“The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.” – Jonathan Haidt, Psychologist
Humans love storytelling, which is why it’s such a popular and successful marketing and data visualization technique for many up-and-coming brands. Not only do narratives help us shape our understand of our place in the world, storytelling has incredible evolutionary roots, as it was how our ancestor passed down information from generation to generation. How many of you loved listening to your grandparents’ stories about the “good ol’ days”?
There’s truly a podcast out there for everyone, and through the use of storytelling, even the most abstract topics are brought to life. Not to mention, they’re a fantastic companion during long commutes or when you’re stuck in traffic.
As we look forward, Google is testing a new AI feature that translates audio to different languages while keeping your voice for more accessibility towards international listeners! There’s potential in the use of audio, including the surge in audio room competitors - such as the launch ofTwitter Spaces and Facebook Live Audio Rooms, as well as the abundance of other social platforms currently working on their own version as well (watch out,Clubhouse!).
As podcasts continue to grow year over year, one thing is for certain: podcasts are not the “audio blogs” they were born to be. Today, they are full-fledged pieces of content that provide opportunities eager to break new grounds for investments, revenue-generation, and technology.