If there is one form of media I have learned to love, it is listening to podcasts. A podcast is considered to be “radio on-demand” and the term podcast stems from “iPod” and “broadcast” because it combines the properties of a media player with the consumption of content or information. Instead of being tied to specific radio air times, you may listen whenever it suits your personal schedule best. Podcasts are certainly on the rise. According to a recently conducted Edison Research survey1 revealed that 26% of the participants listened to a podcast in the past month.
If you’re thinking you don’t have the time for another time-sucking form of media, consider the benefits I have observed through podcast listening. Here’s a brief summary of how podcasts have added value to my life:
· No commute feels like a waste of time. Whether I am on my way to work, to the store or elsewhere, I can always listen to my podcasts.
· Waiting and doing chores are not a bore anymore.
· Podcasts are a fun way to educate myself about things I am already passionate about or would like to know more about.
· The “hands-and-eyes-free” nature of podcasts are a huge plus. That way I don’t have to watch a video and can instead close my eyes, ride my bike, walk, inline skate or do whatever I want as long as I am able to listen.
· Having access to free and high quality content.
· I always have something to talk about. Or ponder upon. Or write about.
· It’s easy and entertaining way to stay up to date on numerous topics and a chance to connect with top-notch experts on various fields.
· Taking part in an authentic conversation. Even though most podcasts are recorded and edited professionally, they come across very authentically because the setting is often laid-back, participants joke and reveal their personal stories to the audience whilst maintaining content quality.
· Being part of a community. I can interact with other like-minded people, podcast hosts and take advantage of Q&A oppurtunities.
Many podcasts are available on the websites of the podcast provider. However, there are plenty of apps you can download to make podcast consumption easier through a collection of all your favourite podcasts in one app. Some examples include Overcast, The Podcast App or Podbean. Personally, I enjoy using the pre-installed “Podcasts” app on my iPhone. Depending on the length of my commute or my available time, I either listen to longer podcasts of one hour or more at once or I opt for “bite-sized” podcasts that only last about 10 minutes. To make my information absorption more enjoyable, I usually skip past the ads and occasionally speed up the speaking to 1.5x speed. Another pro tip: subscribing or downloading certain episodes liberates you from the need to have internet, say when you’re on the plane.
Currently, the topics I am most interested in are business and innovation, politics, history, health and fitness, sustainability, minimalism and psychology. If none of these topics seem interesting to you, believe me when I say there are podcasts pretty much on ANY topic you can think of. You can even use podcasts to help you learn or improve your language skills.
Here’s a list of podcasts I currently listen to on a daily or weekly basis:
1. Optimal Living Daily
2. The Ultimate Health Podcast
3. How I Built This
4. TED Radio hour
5. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
6. The School of Greatness
7. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
8. The Unmistakable Creative Podcast
9. The Tim Ferriss Show
10. The Austrian School of Economics
11. Jocko Podcast
12. Revisionist History
13. The Brendon Show
14. HBR Ideacast
If you’re completely new to the podcast world, you may want try some of the ones listed above. I am always on the lookout for new podcasts and find great value in exploring new fields. Feel free to connect with me and share some of your podcast recommendations. Happy listening!