Radio is so twentieth-century. It’s practically 2020 already, and the world has long moved on from the world of radio, and into the world of podcasting. A forced marriage between “iPod” and “broadcasting” lead to the creation of the word, and while the iPod has long gone extinct, its namesake form of media is here to stay. Podcasts have fundamentally changed the way people consume audio, and for that reason, we celebrate on Sept 30: here’s to International Podcast Day!
Why We Love International Podcast Day
A. Get your kicks for cheap
If you're into podcasts, here's some good news: they're almost always free, or really cheap. You'll have to put up with an ad or two throughout your programming, but they're not long and obtrusive like the ones we've come to expect on television. If you've got a device with an audio output and an internet connection, you can listen to podcasts: it's that easy.
B. Binge heaven
If you've only recently discovered podcasts, this one's for you. Unlike your favorite radio shows of yesteryear, that new podcast you discovered likely has an easily-accessed library of every episode they've ever aired. Be careful, though — the fact that you need to sit still and watch a screen is what keeps your Netflix-binging in check. With podcasts, you can listen to them anywhere, so it's easy to get through a dozen episodes and wonder where your day went.
C. They allow for serialized storytelling
While we all have a special place in our hearts for shows like The Wonder Years or Happy Days, episodes were generally self-contained short stories, without much room for depth. Many podcasts take their cues from the current television trend of having story arcs that span multiple episodes or seasons. Check out NPR's Serial for a listening experience you won't be able to let go of.
How to Celebrate International Podcast Day
1. Find a new podcast
With apps like Pocket Cast (for Android) and Downcast (for iOS), it's never been easier to find an interesting podcast. Browse by category, or by popularity, and you're bound to find at least a dozen that you'll have a hard time turning off.
2. Create your own
You can create your very own podcast, and you've likely already got the tools you need to get started. Between your mobile phone and your computer, you've likely got a microphone, and some app like Garageband or Audacity. Recording the podcast is the easy part — the real challenge comes when you're trying to pick a topic worth listening to!
3. Donate to your favorite producer
Many of the most popular podcasts survive on minimal ad revenue, and donations "from viewers like you." As much as even hearing those words can put one to sleep, they're there for a reason! Consider throwing a few dollars toward your favorite podcasts so that they can keep on broadcasting.