I love podcasts.

I listen to them on the train, at the gym, at home. Perhaps it could be said that I was a podcast addict. I’m currently subscribed to 73 with many podcasts such as the long running ‘This American Life’ featuring hundreds of episodes.

But what is a podcast? Ben Hammersley coined the term back in 2004, a fusion of the words ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’. Essentially podcasting can be thought of as ‘Internet Radio On-Demand’. Anyone can make them, and anyone can access them too. From the highly produced Gimlet Media series’ Crimetown to a show produced in the hosts living room as is often the case in Like Minded Friends, podcasts come in all shapes and sizes.

I’d be amiss not to mention the most well-known podcasts Serial and its’ counterpart S-Town, both productions of Serial Productions and This American Life.  S-Town, which centres on John B. McLemore, a fascinating figure who calls producer Brian Reed about a murder, was downloaded a record 10 million times in its first 4 days following release.

And yet people don’t understand what I mean when I say I listen to podcasts – or ‘podthingy’ as my gran calls them. Podcasts have the extraordinary ability to transport you right into the heart of a story. One minute I’ll be in Gillingham high street and the next I’ve been whisked away to Colombia where a wife has married into drugs, money, and mafioso. Or if you would like something more light you can listen to the Mortified Podcast where adults read their childhood diaries in front of strangers.

Podcasts are home to some of the best investigative journalism I have found, and they are catching traction in the world of Hollywood too. Alex, Inc. is an upcoming tv show based on the first season of Start Up, whilst Robert Downey Jr. will soon star in a film based on an episode of Reply All.

In America many newspapers are jumping on the emerging medium including the Cincinnati Enquirer and L.A. Times with their podcasts Accused and Dirty John respectively.

Podcasting is in my opinion the future of radio. There is a growing demand for radio content on demand reflected by the BBC’s increase in podcasts and radio presenters such as James O'Brien taking a version of their radio show onto the podcast landscape. There is a mass of exciting content available at your finger tips and best of all, it’s free!

If you are interested in listening to podcasts you can find out how here.

Recommended episodes to get you hooked!

Crimetown: Courtney Courtney Calenda is a star high school student — until a powerful attorney more than three times her age pulls her into a downward spiral of sex and drugs. As her life falls apart, she decides to fight back.

Reply All: Long Distance This week, a telephone scammer makes a terrible mistake. He calls Alex Goldman.

The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson Join bestselling author Jon Ronson as he traces a very strange butterfly effect. A teen in Brussels had an idea – to make porn free and easy to stream online. The consequences of that idea are mysterious, delightful, surprising, and sad.

This American Life: The Incredible Case of the P.I. Moms  What do you get when you take a private investigation firm, toss in a bunch of sexy soccer moms, then add official sponsorship from Glock firearms, a lying boss, and delusions of grandeur? This week's show. That's what you get.

Undone: The Deacons This is a story about a forgotten part of civil-rights history that is still very much alive. In 1965, a group of black men in Louisiana called the Deacons for Defense and Justice took up arms against the Klan. Now a daughter of the Deacons wants to start a museum in their honour, but not everyone in town wants their story told.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I love podcasts and why you should too!