Episode 124: The Appeal of Podcasts

Under the old rules, a gatekeeper who owned the airwaves would never give you a radio show if you didn’t have the credentials he deemed necessary. So, your story would go untold.
Times have changed. We now live in a time in which we can control our own platforms and tell our own stories. We no longer need approval, so don’t wait for someone else to tell you to start.
— Jon Nastor, Copyblogger, March 10, 2016
Since the beginning of time (and the advent of humans), oral storytelling has served a critical role as the sole means of abstracting experiences and emotions in narrative form. Ancient oral storytellers were revered keepers of local knowledge, history, and traditions in their communities.
— Chris Giliberti of Gimlet Media on Forbes, March 31, 2016

Every week, we share our thoughts and feelings with you in the form of this podcast. But why do we rely upon this medium? What sets it apart and what do we find most appealing about it? Edison Research indicates that 21% of Americans listen to at least one podcast a month, reflecting a positive trend (up from 9% in 2008 and 12% in 2013). Big players like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others are entering the young market which also contains podcast-focused groups like Gimlet Media and Radiotopia. This week Kendall Theroux joins us to share some of her thoughts as an avid podcast listener. But how should the medium expand and what are its current limitations as a means of human and artistic expression?