It is 2015, and most students don’t listen to radio anymore. With apps like Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora that provide unlimited choices of music, you can listen to what you want when you want, why would you? Radio hasn’t always just played top 40 most popular hits—it used to be a place where the public could come and enjoy radio shows, talk shows, educational programs and listen to the president speak. One way to bring that all back is podcasts.
Podcasts are episodic series of media, usually audio, but it can also be video, which users can subscribe to. When podcasting first began, they were mainly just talk shows or groups of friends chatting about their favorite things.
“I can guarantee that there is a podcast for any of your interests or weird hobbies,” Nick Larsen, a senior at Brigham Young University, said. Cecily Kiss, a student at Weber State University, agrees.
From interesting facts shows like freakanomics to highly produced narratives like Mystery Show and news recaps like All Things Considered, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. Podcasts have slowly grown in popularity since starting in 2005. Ten years later, some say that we are entering the Golden Age of podcasts. All because of one show, “Serial.”
Serial was based off a show called This American Life, which tells many small stories about one theme. “Serial,” as their website puts it, “Tells one story—a true story—over the course of an entire season.”
In season one, the host, Sarah Kroenig, tells the true story of Adnan Syed, who was arrested for killing his girlfriend and within the year was convicted of the crime. His conviction was hinged on one witness—his best friend.
The overall success of the show has brought podcasts to a valuable form of entertainment and media.
“I think [podcasts] can be especially great for students since they’re perfect for listening between classes or while walking to school or even while working on homework,” Larsen said.
“I like listening to podcasts in my car or while I’m cleaning my house because it gives me the opportunity to catch up on news, learn about different subjects and issues or get a good laugh depending, on what I’m listening to,” Kiss said.
Weber State University student Erik Rushton, who recently switched his major to Digital Media because of his interest in podcasts, had a similar reason as to why we should listen to podcasts.
“I have a decent travel time to and from school everyday, and I get tired of just listening to music,” Rushton said.
Podcasts can be downloaded through the podcast app or through a 3rd party podcast catcher, like Overcast.
“I’ve also been really surprised at how often I learn some cool fact on Freakonomics or StarTalk that actually applies to something I’m learning in one of my classes,” said Larsen, which is something that can be found in almost any sort of podcast. It’s not always being something super significant but something interesting you can share with your friends.