The Power of Podcasts & Audio Storytelling
If you’ve ever asked for podcast recs from friends, you may find yourself immediately supplied with a lengthy list of “must listens”. It’s easier than ever to find and listen to literally thousands of podcasts on any topic imaginable. Podcasts are amongst the most prominent cultural phenomenon in the United States, but why are podcasts so hot right now?
Let’s take it back to 1938… [cue old-timey voiceover]
The voice of H.G. Wells plays through radios across the country as he reads his story, “War of the Worlds.” Listeners across America perceive his fictional storytelling as the real deal. CUT TO: National hysteria and pulsing fear through the hearts of listeners. The murderous aliens HAVE LANDED on earth and the end of the world is here as we know it.
Fast-track 81 years later, and our fascination with audio storytelling is bigger than ever. According to a CBS poll report, as of 2018, there are over 525,000 active podcasts, with over 18.5 million episodes produced. Over 73 million Americans listen to podcasts each month with 48 million people being weekly listeners. The podcast audience has consistently grown at a rate of 10–20% per year, a trend which seems likely to continue. Podcasts & audio storytelling allow us to consume media which we can closely connect with. We can stimulate our imagination while learning about a limitless variety of new topics at any time, even in the midst of the daily grind.
The core reason podcasting is so very popular is simple: accessibility. Podcasts have emerged from their niche recently thanks to smartphones, podcast apps and voice-activated speakers in homes. The old problem of visibility has largely been solved by distribution platforms from the likes of Apple, SoundCloud and Spotify.
The appeal of this informal, less "produced" style of media consumption has proven particularly popular with the much sought-after "millennial" generation, according to the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in New York. In fact, a report for the Interactive Advertising Bureau by consultants PWC predicts advertising revenues in the US digital audio sector will grow more than 110% to $659m by 2020.
So the big question remains: how do you make your idea into a podcast or audio story?
Our one-day workshop is designed to cover the basics of constructing a great story for audio, interviewing techniques, and technical aspects needed to create great tape. If you’re interested in learning more about podcasting or get new insights and spark inspiration to evolve your current show, Podcast Producer Myrriah Gossett will dive deep into pre-production, gear, recording techniques, and distribution. Students will work hands-on with audio gear while gaining valuable information and bonafide professional feedback.
Myrriah is a local independent podcast producer with nearly a decade of industry experience. For example: this past spring she managed to produce over 50 podcast episodes in just 10 short days! You can hear her on mic as a co-host of the Star Trek Discovery Pod, and see her name in the credits for the Founding Media Podcast Network, the new relaunch of the Bedpost Confessions Podcast, Creative Queso Podcast, Seen with Miranda Podcast, FOGO: Fear of Going Outside Podcast, and more!
Whether you’re interested in learning more about what goes into producing a podcast, getting your hands on the gear needed to create it, or already an emerging Podcast Producer excited to dive deeper into the production pipeline with a pro— this is definitely a class worth checking out!