Lockdown Diaries #2: podcasts

Posted on March 31, 2020


Every day this week, a different member of our team will post about something that’s on their mind. We’re calling it the Lockdown Diaries for now, but we’re working on a better name as we speak. 

Next up in our series, we have Kerry.

Kerry is an Account Executive at Clearbox who works on the Bushmills team’s events and social media campaigns. She used to live in Vienna, can speak fluent German and absolutely loves a cinnamon porridge pot. 

Kerry chose podcasts as her topic of choice for a blog post during the lockdown. Enjoy! 

I have to be honest, my reason for writing this blog was not that I am in any way an expert on this subject, if anything more to the contrary. I have recently decided there are some parts of my day that are little quiet. There’s only so much radio you can listen to in the car and on top of that, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to reduce the amount of time I spend looking at a screen. Cue the podcast. 

Podcasts don’t currently consume a large part of my life; they are something I dip into every so often whenever I have a spare ten minutes or, more likely, whenever someone has recommended a particular episode or series. My significant other, on the other hand, LOVES a podcast. Almost every week he will update me on his recent find, his top pick or more often what he has learnt, along with the entire story that accompanies this new fact. I basically get my own personal recital of the podcast. His current top three are House of Rugby, Irish League Behaviour and Deckchair + Yumz (welcome to my world)… However, this has intrigued me and made me wonder why they have become so popular and what really is so special about them.

According to the most recent figures from January 2020, there are more than 850,000 active podcasts and more than 30 million podcast episodes currently available across a number of streaming services. If we take a look back at 2018, the figures were 550,000 and 18.5 million respectively. This shows a massive growth in the volume of podcasts available at our fingertips. Podcasts appear to be relatively easy to produce, with nothing more than a high quality microphone, some top recording equipment and some great ideas required, so for the foreseeable it looks like these numbers are only set to increase.

The laws of supply and demand would also suggest that we are craving and consuming more and more of this content. So why are podcasts so popular and prevalent in today’s world? 

Unless you live in a cave, you will probably be aware that there is a podcast for absolutely everything, from reading an explicit book your dad wrote, to solving some of the world's worst crimes. Research shows that the top five most popular podcast genres are; Society & Culture, Business, Comedy, News & Politics and Health. The broad and often strange range of genres means that whatever the subject, niche or category you’re looking for, there will be something to satisfy your taste. There is a huge amount of topical and current content to keep us up to date with what is going on around us across the world, as well as more in depth science, literature and weird facts that we can consume at any time and in any order. For me, that definitely forms part of the appeal - with a podcast series, you can drop in and out and still feel very much up to date.

Podcasts often create communities and can be a way of finding like-minded individuals who share your interests and passions, from the oddest of subjects to the biggest of movements. They can provide an outlet and a community through which you can share your opinions, beliefs and thoughts on a particular topic. This creates a kind of feedback wheel where the producers of the podcast can use their listeners’ feedback or comments as next week’s content, making the series all the more engaging for the listeners.

Podcasts are also unique in that they fit easily into our busy lives. You can listen while you’re driving, while you’re cleaning, while you’re walking, running or at the gym. 

You get my point, they don’t require 100% of your attention or concentration. I hear you say, the same could be said for music and you’re right, but this brings me on to what we really feel that we are gaining from listening to a podcast. When listening to a podcast, we often feel like we are gaining some knowledge or are being entertained in a way we aren’t by other types of content like music or video. They are often broken down into small, digestible nuggets of information which also means that you don’t need to spare an entire hour to engage - you have 15 minutes, no problem, there’s a podcast for that. 

I’m sure there are many more reasons why we crave this content but I’ve gone on for long enough. I have now created a list of podcasts that I plan to engage with over the next few months, so maybe I’ll update you later this year with how this has gone for me and perhaps I’ll even share a review or two…

Stay home and stay safe people x