We continue to debate if print is dead and whether teens still watch TV, but there is no question that podcasts are the medium of the moment! At Clearbox, we see it like this - there are those who love listening to podcasts, and those who simply haven't discovered them yet. And we're not alone…4.7million adults in the UK have listened to a podcast - this may seem small and you'd be forgiven for thinking the world of podcasting is still quite niche, but if the US is anything to go by, we reckon 2018 will be the year the podcast reaches its peak. A whopping 67 million Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis, and that's up 14 percent in just one year. #TrendAlert - you heard it here first. So why the growing obsession? Not only are podcasts free, and so incredibly accessible. But they are also convenient - there is many a Clearboxer that tunes in whilst getting other stuff done, like cooking, cleaning or commuting. Convenience aside, we're always excited to see platforms develop to offer more opportunity to house our storytelling. Just this week, PR Week reported that podcasts are now considered vital to any integrated campaign, succeeding where traditional tactics struggle. But a blog discussing podcast popularity, does not a podcast listener make so we've kindly compiled a list of our favourites to get you started:Grainne GlennyIt all started with Serial. I guess you could say Serial made me a serial listener to just about anything true crime related. True Crime Garage, Crimetown, Casefile - you name it, I know it. But of late, I've realised I need a break from binging on murders and the like, life is tough enough, right? So, I've bended my ear in the direction of Before Brunch from Irish cailíns, Megan Cassidy and Cassie Delaney. Broadcast most Sundays, this light but stimulating listen delves into pop culture analysing the TV hits, the music misses and celebrity announcements of the week that was. It's kind of like chatting to your most brilliant and entertaining friend and perfect for switching off to focus on the lighter things in life.Daniel LynchI'm going to go with the Metaphorical Boat podcast. This started off as a blog covering the best in upcoming music, with a focus on Northern Irish acts. The guy behind it, Chris knows a tune when he hears one so the blog was always an interesting read. More recently he's branched out to include a podcast to accompany the blog. So far he's interviewed some great acts, including fellow Villa fan and A Plastic Rose and Bry guitarist, Gerry Norman. It's a really good listen and a must for anyone into local music.”Claire Best'How our brains can fool our bodies,' 'The surprising science of happiness' and 'How I held my breath for 17 minutes' – these types of titles are why TED Talks is my favourite podcast. Interesting insights and lots of random facts, plus they're the perfect length for my drive to work in the morning.Natalie ClarkeMy current favourite is 'At Home With' from Lily Pebbles and Anna Newton. Their narration of life is hilarious and relatable and I think the series satisfies my innate nosiness, the opportunity to snoop around the homes of some inspirational women in the health and beauty industry? Well I'm only human. Pebbles and Newton have interviewed the likes of Lisa Eldridge, Madeline Shaw and Liz Earle. 100% recommend, if you're into that sort of thing.John MegMissing, by Tim Weaver because I thought I'd go for something non-football for a change (I do love Arsecast, mind). Missing, as you might have guessed, is a podcast about people who go missing. However, it looks at the other side of going missing - how possible is it to stay off the grid in the hyper-connected world we live in? It's a great, British podcast with a brilliant host who uses the final episode to go missing himself, in a bid to stay undetected. It's short and snappy- definitely recommend it if you're into that kind of thing.
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