Why has it taken so long for Podcasts to catch on?
The Nightcap Podcast with James Golding

Podcasts are starting to get serious downloads, in 2022.

The question that we’ve been asking ourselves for a while is – how come it’s taken so long for podcasts to get serious traction? Considering the fact that the technology has been there for years (just as long as catch up tv). In fact, podcasts existed for 3 years in the UK before BBC iPlayer came about!

For a lot of people, the name doesn’t connect. Podcasts – sounds “techie.” Connotations to iPods, perhaps? For some, especially 10 plus years ago, Podcasts weren’t explained well enough for them to really understand what they were. Here’s what we should have done and said.

We should have referred to podcasts as “catch-up radio.” Maybe that seems obvious now, but I never once heard it described that way til at least 2018. My Dad has been using “catch-up tv” for years, and has always understood exactly what that was. From recording tv shows onto VHS tapes and Sky boxes (and watching them back later, at a more convenient time) to streaming shows on Netflix and BBC iPlayer. But not until recently did he finally get his head around what a “Podcast” is. It is simply catch-up radio… without the music. (Different conversation for a different day).

What is it about podcasts we love so much?

I think there are 3 reasons why podcasts are beloved, and unique.

1. As I talked about above, they are completely on demand. So you listen at your convenience. Any time of day or night.

2. Like live radio, they are consumable on the move or while carrying our tasks. From housework, to driving a car. From walking the dog to well… doing anything.

3. They are niche. Live radio, especially on commercial stations, tends to try and “please everyone.” Which is absolutely fine. Broad music spectrum. Relatable, but perhaps generic, conversation. But a good podcast is a community. Big or small. The creators can hone in and specialise in the thing they love most. From fly fishing to true crime. From football to tiddlywinks. There’s something for everyone and we love it. Podcasts can go into more detail, are not tied to a certain length of time and are delivered to you in an intimate/personal way.

What do the podcast stats say?

According to Statista.com – UK podcast listeners have nearly trebled in just 5 years. From around 8 million in 2017, to 22 million in 2022.

More devices have podcasts apps than ever before. There’s more choice of podcasts than ever before. Plus, Alexa can play them for you now too.

So everything is pointing upward in the podcast space. Hence why more brands are sponsoring them, placing ads on them or even creating their own.

We have created many podcasts, many of which feature in the podcast charts on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can browse through and take a listen here.

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line now, and we can help you get involved in the podcast space, in various capacities. Big or small.

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