You’ve probably heard that podcasts are dead. Heck, just about every medium has been “dead” a time or two, according to so-called experts. But the data on podcast listening tell a different story.
Almost 465 million people listen to podcasts. That doesn’t seem like any kind of small audience to me, and the number is expected to continue increasing.
The average podcast listener listens to nine episodes a week. That’s more than a podcast a day! I mean, 2% of people don’t even brush their teeth daily, so…
You probably aren’t surprised to learn that I love listening to podcasts. After all, I’m a nerd who has challenged herself to read 200 books this year. Cleary, I love learning new things. The only thing that keeps me from listening to even more podcasts is that I usually try to listen to an audiobook every chance I get.
So, why should you adopt this habit? Let’s explore.
Why Most People Listen to Podcasts
I try to consume as much information as possible, but I understand that not everyone is like me. You may not be interested in filling your head with new info nonstop, and that’s just fine.
People listen to podcasts for all kinds of reasons, but here’s the data on the most common reasons in order from most common to least:
- To have something to listen to while they do something else
- Hear other people’s opinions
- Stay updated on current events
- For encouragement or inspiration
Why You Should Listen to Podcasts
My guess is that all 465 million people who listen to podcasts have slightly different reasons for doing so. People are unique, you know. I also bet people listen to podcasts for a lot of the same reasons, like those listed above. Here are some reasons I listen to podcasts that I think apply to many people, maybe even including you.
Podcasts Are Educational
As I said before, I’m a learning nerd. I really can’t learn enough. I’m just a naturally curious person.
I learn a ton from podcasts because you can find them on almost any topic. My favorite podcasts are about self-improvement, professional development, productivity, and leadership. I use podcasts to work on me, but you can listen to learn about whatever fits your needs.
Podcasts Are Convenient
It’s probably no secret that I’d rather read a book than listen to a podcast. Maybe you feel the same way. But you can’t always read a book when you’re exercising, doing chores, or driving. Sure, you can listen to an audiobook, but what about when you’re in the car for a few minutes and don’t want to get steeped in your book? No problem! Listen to a quick podcast.
A lot of people report listening to podcasts while commuting, cooking, or doing household chores. Those instances make perfect sense to me because podcasts don’t require the same level of concentration as an audiobook. They’re probably somewhere between listening to an audiobook and music.
Podcasts Are Entertaining
I don’t necessarily listen to podcasts to be entertained, but I find podcasts entertaining, or I wouldn’t keep listening to them.
Whether you’re into storytelling, comedy, drama, or true crime, there’s something for everyone.
Now that I think of it, I was entertained by the Serial podcasts and binged it.
Podcasts Build Community
I don’t listen to podcasts for the community there, but I talk to people in my network about things I’ve learned via podcasts. For example, I’ve shared leadership advice I learned from Michael Hyatt’s podcast with students. I’ve also had many discussions with others interested in true crime that were informed by things I learned from listening to podcasts.
Podcasts Are Accessible
Most podcasts are free, and you can play them right on your smartphone. You also can subscribe and keep the latest episodes downloading, so you always have something to listen to. Because they’re so easily accessible, I sometimes listen to podcasts when I’m waiting for a new audiobook to become available or when I don’t have any Audible credits.
Podcasts Are Excellent for Growth
I truly believe that you’re obligated to continue growing and improving yourself. I love podcasts for personal and professional growth, mental health, and well-being. Improving yourself while on the go is a win/win in my book.
I rarely listen to a podcast episode when I don’t come away with a quote or tidbit I want to share. I often share things I learn in podcasts with the writing team I lead or on my social media. I often think of post ideas for this blog based on things I hear in podcasts. It’s not unusual for me to listen to one podcast and come away with multiple ideas for topics. It would be silly not to embrace a medium that inspires that much creativity in me.
What Types of Podcasts People Listen To
Just like people listen to podcasts for various reasons, they enjoy listening to different types of podcasts. Luckily, there are like five million podcasts out there, so there’s something for everyone.
The most popular podcast genres are:
- True crime
- Heath & fitness
- Religion and faith
- Self help
- Investigative journalism
My favorites are on this list, for sure. I am always surprised to see how many people listen to comedy podcasts but to each their own.
What Podcasts Do People Love Most?
Of course, the podcast someone loves most depends completely on who you ask. If you’re interested, here are the podcasts I think are worth listening to. If I had to choose a favorite from my list, it probably would be Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy podcast.
People’s top 10 favorite podcasts right now are:
- The Joe Rogan Experience
- Crime Junkie
- The Daily
- This American Life
- Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
- The Ben Shapiro Show
- Stuff You Should Know
- Call Her Daddy
- Office Ladies
- My Favorite Murder
Podcasts can give you a way to be inspired, entertained, and informed, all while you’re on the go or doing something else you need to get done. If you haven’t ever listened to a podcast, give one a try. I hope you can find something in this post to listen to and love.