Listen up Millennials! Check Out These 5 Cool Podcasts


 By Annemarie Tompsen

We’re in the age of the television, but a revival is taking place —the podcast renaissance. Over the years the podcast has struggled as a media platform. Surprisingly, it is only since 2006 that podcast popularity has increased from 11 percent to 30 percent. Edison research from 2014 shows that about 39 million listeners follow a podcast monthly and one in five users consume about six podcasts a week.

The roots of the first podcasts stem from the 1980s, but theses platforms did not start to become popular until the launch of the original iPod, which allowed users to simply transfer and download audio files. Since those early days of podcasting, the art of public radio has significantly evolved. Podcasts like Radio Lab develop a relationship between the listener and podcast personality. In this way, stories become alive, interviews intimate and the podcasts just as entertaining as television.

As a millennial that’s grown up around the television, I’ve managed to dismiss podcasts for years.  But I’ve finally given this addictive media platform a chance. Podcast aficionados recommend the show Serial to novice listeners like myself. Sarah Koenig, the staff producer and radio personality says, “Serial is about the basics: love and death and justice and truth.”

But, Serial isn’t the only podcast listeners are drawn to. Food for Thought: The Joys and Benefits of Living Compassionately and Healthfully (in Other Words Vegan), tops the charts with episodes on vegan lifestyles. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, podcast personality and author, shares her food tips and tricks with listeners. The show addresses topics on food, cooking, animal rights and nutrition. On air for more than eight years, this podcast is a favorite among foodies who are interested in living healthy and compassionately.

For the traveler, podcasts are especially a favorite. A podcast recommended to me was, Travel with Rick Steves. Rick is a travel authority, most respected for his dozens of European guidebooks centered on his traveling experiences. The podcast features discussions with guest experts on world culture, travel and populations around the world. Every Sunday Rick entertains his listeners with a new adventure, bringing to life a select part of the world during a one hour show.

Of course, not all podcasts are driven by one host. TEDTalks (Audio), sponsored by the nonprofit organization TED, is a great podcast for changemakers, featuring inspirational thinkers from around the globe who discuss topics that inspire, educate and promote innovation through on stage conferences. If you would like to see the full video, instead of audio, the original TEDTalk channel has episodes readily available. Yet, many listeners prefer the audio versions, which allows for easy accessibility without the hassle of downloading or streaming video, an advantage we all need within our busy lifestyles.

Listeners claim the cause of the podcast revival is the need for portable and readily available entertainment.  Hands-free, users can listen to a podcast at work, home or at the gym. This is where the television has failed.

As long as society is multitasking, the podcast will continue to rise in popularity. Shows like Serial will maintain their hold on top ten lists until another trend in media platforms grabs the attention of American society. Until then, we must embrace an epidemic that’s taking over: the struggle of deciding which epic podcast to listen to next.

annemarieAbout the Writer

Annemarie Tompsen currently studies Publishing and Writing at Emerson College, where she also works part time at the Lacerte Family Writing & Academic Resource Center.  A New Englander at heart, she’s recently moved to the Boston area from the small coastal town of Milford, CT. In her spare time she frequents local Boston coffee shops and has taken an interest in finding the diviest diners around. With the summer approaching she looks forward to exploring Boston and traveling along the coast any chance she can. Annemarie hopes to use her love for the written word to pursue a profession in the publishing industry and to further develop her writing career.

Feature Image: White Headphones and Audio Image via Shutterstock

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