After the first iPod was released in 2001, a series of pods containing audio content came into existence. These pods became popular with the name podcasts.
The success of podcasts can be attributed to their accessibility factor. Podcasts can easily be downloaded to your smartphones so you can listen to the episodes of your favorite audio show whenever and wherever you want.
Podcasting emerged as a thriving mini-industry, but soon started to wither due to its amateurish content. In the fledgling years of podcasting, there were shows like “Daily Source Code,” hosted by former MTV VJ Adam Curry and Christopher Lydon’s “Open Source.”
The narrative pattern of these podcasts was less interactive and lacked polish. Consequently, the download numbers fell, and people moved onto online video and audio streaming music services.
Podcasts are now enjoying a phase of Renaissance. They are finally back with a bevy of on-demand options like the most-downloaded podcast on iTunes,“Serial,” a true-crime drama, “99 Percent Invisible,” a design-themed podcast and “StartUp,” a series about starting a podcast business.
Podcasts of today are produced by professional studios with ample production experience. One of the primary reasons for the growth of podcasts is the economics involved in producing podcast shows. Producing an average podcast costs far less than producing a TV show or a radio show. To host a podcast show, all you need is a microphone or two, an editing software and a hosting service.
Advertisers are picking up on the podcast trend as well. If you have listened to the buzzing podcast “Serial,” then you are sure to remember the quirky MailChimp ad in the beginning of each episode. For an advertiser jumping into the fold of podcasting, the company may garner more attention to their ad copy than their digitized video counterpart.
And from an audience’s point of view, podcasts are convenient and easily accessible. They can be downloaded or streamed from your smartphone on the-go.
Not to mention, with the many genres of podcasts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few podcasts to get you started, or to add to your favorite lists of must-hears:
1. The Traction Show: This show explores the roadblocks entrepreneurs face during the early stages of starting a company. Ashish Walia, host of the show and co-founder and COO of LawTrades, a platform that helps businesses find and hire lawyers online, interviews successful entrepreneurs from various industries. The weekly podcast helps aspiring and newbie entrepreneurs gain insights on starting and growing their business. Entrepreneurs like William Litvack of SquadUp, Liz Wessel of Campus Job, Rob Caucci of Pigon Box, and Desi Saran of Lean Startup, are interviewed to give you real, valuable hands-on business and marketing advice you are looking for.
Listen to “The Traction Show” here.
2. Urban Dharma: In the rat race to climb the career ladder, meet expectations of family, friends and peers, we are seriously lacking peace of mind. The podcast “Urban Dharma” focuses on helping listeners follow the path of shuddhi through meditation, happiness and discussions. The host of the show Kusala Bhikshu shares his knowledge of buddhism through stories, personal experiences and humor. Bhikshu is an American-born buddhist monk living in Los Angeles, California.
Listen to “The Urban Dharma” here.
3. Love Bollywood, by BBC Asian Network: Are you missing out on your daily dose of Bollywood gossip? The hosts of the podcast “Love Bollywood” Raj and Pablo are here with all the filmi tadka. This show comprises of interviews with the biggest stars and celebrities of Bollywood and also the latest entertainment news, film releases and reviews. You will also hear interviews with your favorite B-town stars, Bipasha Basu, Shahid Kapoor,
Listen to “Love Bollywood” here.
4. Good Muslim Bad Muslim: Religious identities often become objects of judgment in multicultural societies. This show revolves around the good and bad experiences of being an American Muslim woman. The podcast “Good Muslim Bad Muslim” features Taz Ahmed, founder of the nonprofit South Asian American Voting Youth, a writer and a community organizer based in Southern California, along with Zahra Noorbakhsh, an Iranian-American writer and author of “All Atheists are Muslims.”
Listen to “Good Muslim Bad Muslim” here.
5. Indian, American: The U.S. is a potpourri of different cultures and communities. When people from diverse backgrounds live together as a society, cultures blend with each other. This podcast helps listeners explore what it means to be a South Asian in today’s America. The hosts of the show are Arjun Gupta, actor and producer, known for his roles on “Nurse Jackie and “How to Get Away With Murder,” and Akaash Singh, a comedian known for his quick wit on shows like “Wild n’ Out” and “Guy Code” on MTV2. The duo shed light on the future of our culture and community in the U.S. through a series of engaging interviews and discussions with guests like YouTube star Timothy Delaghetto, former Miss India-America Samara Bay and Dean of Religious Life at University of Southern California Dr. Varun Soni.
Listen to the “Indian, American” podcast here.
We are now in the golden age of podcasting. Podcasts are ten years old, yet they are now more alive than ever. More and more people are now getting used to consuming media during transit. This frenzy has led to the the emergence of better and more polished podcasts.
Many podcasts are available over the Internet, show websites or on iTunes. There are a number of apps available for those who wish to listen from their phones—Stitcher, Pocket Casts, TuneIn and Podcasts are some of the popular ones.
So how do you listen to your favorite podcast? Tell us some of your favorites in the comments below!