Entertainment: Are Podcasts The New Radio?

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Podcasts. Image via https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2015/10/powerful-podcasts-marketing.html

When it comes to radio, I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with it. I can listen to a radio station for hours or question its existence immediately I switch it on. It hasn’t always been like that. There was once a time when radio shows like Kiss’ Top 40, Rick Dees, Hits Not Homework and others ruled the airwaves. In fact, we grew up listening to the radio. So, what changed?

Podcasts have integrated seamlessly into the entertainment scene. For many people with a demanding schedule, finding time to watch something is like a dream and radio has fallen short of its entertainment value. Podcasts are a great offer for these people.

Radio used to be the voice of the voiceless back in the day. In fact, many iconic presenters faced detention and worse for airing their unpopular opinions. However, as radio became commercialized, the brave voices went silent for more sponsorships. Podcasts are individually owned making them less strict about the content they put out. People can talk freely without fear of a shutdown.

Each podcast is unique. There could be 10 podcasts on the same topic but every podcast has its own unique way of delivering the message. It’s a space where the podcaster’s creativity can be nurtured in terms of style, production and presentation. While on the radio, most shows already have a format of presenting. Therefore, new ideas are not easily accommodated.

Podcasts are topical while radio jumps from one topic to the other. Podcasts have a theme. Whether it’s a sex-positive podcast like The Spread Pod or a music podcast like the Singing Wells, they stay true to their theme. However, there are general podcasts that discuss trending topics.

Podcasts act as storytelling, therefore, engaging the audience on a more personal level. Sometimes I find myself chiming in as if I’m talking the podcaster face to face. Since podcasts often draw inspiration from their personal lives, it is easy to feel like part of the discussion.

There is a flow in podcasts more than on radio. Radio shows are interrupted occasionally by music or advertisement. On a podcast, podcasters can talk for hours uninterrupted thus engaging their audience better.

Podcasts are more relatable than radio. For radio, the presenters are simply doing their job of keeping the listeners interested. Therefore, they mostly rely on the audience to keep the show lively which might not feel as authentic as when it’s coming from the presenter.

It’s so easy to start a podcast. All you really need is a microphone and a recording device which can be your phone or computer. There are many WordPress podcasting plugins as well as streaming platforms such as iTunes and Spotify that enable you to upload the recording and just like that, a new podcast is born.

There are currently over 500,000 podcasts worldwide that are available in 100 different languages. Podcasts were thought to be a “first world” thing. However, these Kenyan podcasters live by the saying “if you build it, they shall come.”

Interested in Podcasts? Check out Kenyan Podcasts You Should Listen To

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