The Rise of the Podcast

The rise of the podcast

Around 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week. That’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24% over the past year – and more than double over the past five years.


Comedy is the most popular podcast genre, followed by music, TV and film.

Half of podcast listeners are under 35. While only 29% of traditional radio listeners are under 35, this rises to 49% for podcasts.

Almost all podcast listeners tune into radio too. Almost all podcast listeners (96%) also listen to the radio each week, though live radio commands a much lower share of their total listening activity (48%) than adults generally (75%).

Podcasts have not just outlasted the thing for which they were named, they’ve exploded in popularity since their namesake’s demise. (ipods)

Plus, their more informal, less “produced” style is proving popular with the much sought-after “millennial” generation, says Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in New York.

It’s a series of spoken, audio episodes, often focused on a particular topic or theme

Most Podcasts today are audio only, even though video podcasts do exist. Podcasting has really grown out of a need for background content. That means something that can entertain you, educate you or inspire you in the background of other boring or rote activities.

For example, one of the most common ways people listen is in the car. You can’t watch video there, of course, so audio content is great. In the same way, podcasts are great for listening at the gym, while you’re mowing the lawn, or on your journey to work. Any moment of wasted time can be a moment for audio!

Commuters have turned to podcasts in large numbers because of their pragmatic and engaging format. Whether you only have a quick 15 minutes to spare on the bus or train, or a full, hour-long drive to work, there’s a perfect podcast out there for you.

Technology exists to reduce friction – to make things easier, faster, and more efficient. It’s become so ingrained in our daily lives, that we no longer appreciate it, we expect it.


Each episode is normally run by one or two regular presenters, talking about that subject, and they’ll often get outside guests on to contribute.

Listening to audio programmes, or podcasts, is simple if you have access to the internet. You just need to find a podcast platform or app that suits you and then sample some of the many thousands of podcasts made around the world. All podcasts are free, and most are available via many different apps.

One reason podcasts are so popular is that the format is uniquely situation to fit into our busy lives. Any topic you’re interested in? You’ll find a podcast dedicated to it. Only have fifteen minutes to spare? You’ll find a podcast that you can listen to in that time frame. Prefer stories? There are podcasts written to scratch that narrative itch. Prefer news? Nonfiction? Science? Politics? You’ll find a podcast that fits.

There’s also a personal element to it — podcasts often create communities. It’s a way of finding like-minded individuals who share your interests. And often times, these communities create a kind of feed-back loop: with listeners generating content for the podcast producers.

Leave a Reply

© 2022 SOCIALight Magazine
%d bloggers like this: