podcastsThe continued rise of smartphone and tablet adoption and the addition of Podcasts as a stock app on iOS 8 has resulted in significant growth for podcasts in the United States, reports Ad Age. Overall consumption of podcasts experienced 18% growth in the U.S. between Spring and Fall 2014 as Americans now listen to approximately 21.1 million hours of podcasts per day, according to Edison Research.

The resurgence of podcasts arrives around a decade after the audio format became established for iPod and iTunes, and the sudden rise in popularity has some podcast makers excited. "Creatively, we are entering a new golden age," said Matthew Lieber, co-founder of the podcasting startup Gimlet Media. "In terms of the golden age of the business," he added, "we're just getting started."

A direct beneficiary of the so-called "podcast renaissance" is Serial, a spin-off of This American Life that has amassed close to 72 million downloads since it started being aired last fall. Serial is based upon a Baltimore murder case in 1999, in which detectives arrest the ex-boyfriend of a high school senior that disappears after school one day. All twelve episodes are available through iTunes and on the Serial website for free.

While we may be entering the "golden age" of podcasts, the report finds that brand advertisers are still spending significantly less dollars on the medium than more traditional forms of media such as broadcast television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Advertising agency ZenithOptimedia reported last year that podcast ad spending growth would remain flat through at least the next two years.

Podcasting has been an advertising backwater. A ZenithOptimedia report from June 2014 -- before "Serial" debuted -- said podcast ad spending would remain at $34 million annually through 2016. That's a small fraction of what marketers earmark for other media. Ad buyers and media executives say about 80% of the ads played during podcasts are direct-response, prompting listeners to visit a website or call a 1-800 number. Only 20% represents brand advertisers.

The rise in popularity of podcasts is attributed to several other factors, including the wider availability of connected cars that make in-car listening to podcasts much easier for daily commuters. New York Magazine noted last October that the renaissance of podcasting goes hand-in-hand with the improved quality of podcasts, as more content makers turn to the platform as a cheaper alternative over hosting a TV show or radio show.

Podcasts emerged around 2005 as episodic audio series that can span anywhere from a few minutes to several hours in length. Apple users with an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac or other device to listen with can subscribe to podcasts through iTunes to receive the latest podcasts. A wide range of podcasts are available in iTunes based on genres such as news, technology, fashion, food and restaurants, general talk shows, education and more.

Top Rated Comments

tevion5 Avatar
82 months ago
DISCLAIMER: I'm all over the map politically so this isn't a anti-liberal statement.....

Only listening to Bill Maher to learn about news and current affairs is like only asking a DA to give you summary of how a crime happened. More that just being one sided, he is also an entertainer first and commentator second. Entertaining yes, but not the best place to form an opinion on current events.
I don't listen to Bill Maher to get Bill Maher's opinion on everything. I like the panel discussions where sometimes even the entire panel might disagree with Maher himself. I think the show attracts a lot of intelligent and well educated people with many different viewpoints. Reza Aslan is somebody who disagrees with Maher on most issues of Islam for example and yet he brings him back to the show again and again. I like having my beliefs challenged and opening a dialogue on issue most people find too controversial. I think Maher does a good job of bringing many silent topics to light. If my beliefs are ill founded I hope there is somebody there to slap me back to reason.

He is unapologetically left wing of course, but he is but one member of a discussion involving 5-6 people. His show has a unique intelligent open dialogue between liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, religious and non religious, Pro and Anti Israel supporters and so.

If I'm honest I think Maher is on target the majority of the time, but certainly never always. I loved Christopher Hitchens for the same boldness and lack of concern of offending others when he felt an issue was important. Hitchens of course could be wrong, for example his side on the Iraq war is quite questionable in retrospect, but being as objective as I can muster I conclude that he is on point the majority of the time. Sam Harris I believe is somebody who while human, I have yet to disagree with on any major issue. I will attempt to keep my mind open in case of that should occur.

While I tend to disagree with somebody like Bill O'Reilly on the vast majority of issues, and would also question his often evasive interview style, one must at least commend him for bringing onto his show, people he knowingly disagrees with himself. I feel Maher does a vastly superior job of stimulating open discussion and knows when to back down more often (although not always).

But on your point on a single minded world view, I think it is of course important to use multiple news sources when serious about accurate portrayal and facts. That said, listening to Fox News for example with even the most objective of attitudes makes my head explode more often than is comfortable.

And hey, even if I'm 100% bias on an issue (which I hope I'm not), at least I know something about it. My desire to better my world whether misguided or not is more difficult when in ignorance of a topic entirely. I'm just trying not to be a passenger as a citizen. At the risk of sounding conceded, I feel I am more knowledgeable on current affairs than the majority of my college contemporaries. I enjoy parties and sex too, but I find it a little saddening when somebody can't offer an informed opinion on taxing ethics or the right to own a gun. Whatever side you take, at least you care.

And of course, the entertainment aspect is appealing too. :p Thanks for the opportunity to rant! Feels great to mouth off once in a while. :)

DISCLAIMER: I am liberal on most issues I can think of. I like me some capitalism sprinkled with socialism European style. I think freedom of speech is better in the USA then here in Europe however. I don't think guns should be illegal but properly regulated. I mostly support abortion but I think some criminals can derive the death penalty. I believe in free religious practice for all, with not sate supported religious at all. I think most if not all drugs should be legal and regulated. I think global warming is real. I like science in general, being a Computer Scientist myself. Hey, maybe if I end up a middle aged man with a desk job I'll be a raging conservative, but for now I'll hold my pretty libertarianesque principals for the world to see, typed on a MacBook Pro my dad bought me. ;) Just trying to make sense of the world cautiously.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
82 months ago
Besides Serial and This American Life mentioned in the article, there are so many podcats that I listen to regularly and that make my commute so much better. For example, my favorites are:

- Radiolab
- Freakonomics Radio
- 99% Invisible
- Planet Money
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tevion5 Avatar
82 months ago
Owned tons of Apple products since 2008 and yet I never started using Podcasts until last month.

Listening to Bill Maher's Real Time on the bus to college every week is entertaining and I get to learn lots about US and global news and current affairs. :)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rye9 Avatar
82 months ago
I've still never managed to listen to one.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TomaxXamot Avatar
82 months ago
I can't recommend Dan Savage's 'Savage Lovecast' enough. I've listened to hundreds of them over the years.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thelonelylimo Avatar
82 months ago
Marc Maron and John Gruber!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
apple new iphone case colors

Apple Releases New Sunflower, Cloud Blue and Electric Orange iPhone 12 Cases

Monday June 14, 2021 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today released silicone iPhone cases for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini in a series of new colors that include sunflower, cloud blue, and electric orange. Sunflower is a bright yellow shade, cloud blue is a soft, light blue, and electric orange is a bright orange that's darker than the kumquat color and more orange than pink citrus. The new cases are priced starting...
ipad iphone duo ios 12

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 Security Fix for Older iPhones and iPads

Monday June 14, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released new iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates, with the new software aimed at older devices that are unable to run the iOS 14 update that's available on modern devices. The iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software...
files app ipados 15

iPadOS 15: Files App Gains NTFS Support, Progress Indicator, and More

Tuesday June 15, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
Apple in iPadOS 15 has added the ability to access NTFS-formatted media from within the Files app. The additional support for the Windows-related format, first discovered by YouTuber Steven Fjordstrøm, is read-only, so like on macOS you can't modify files stored on NTFS devices, but you can at least copy any data on them for working on elsewhere on your iPad. The Files app has also gotten a...
maxresdefault

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Sideloading Apps Would 'Destroy the Security' of the iPhone

Wednesday June 16, 2021 10:49 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning participated in a virtual interview at the VivaTech conference, which is described as Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Cook was interviewed by Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of Brut, a media company that creates short-form video content. Much of the discussion centered on privacy, as it often does in interviews that Cook participates in. He...
maxresdefault

Demo: Check Out AirPlay 2 on a Mac in macOS Monterey

Tuesday June 15, 2021 11:57 am PDT by
With macOS Monterey, Apple has introduced expanded AirPlay 2 support, so you can AirPlay content from an iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac to your main Mac. We thought we'd do a quick demo of this handy new feature in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. With AirPlay to Mac, you can extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and since ...
nomad airtag wallet card 2

Nomad's Latest Accessory Makes It Easier to Put an AirTag in Your Wallet

Monday June 14, 2021 12:00 pm PDT by
Nomad, known for its range of accessories designed for Apple devices, today announced the Card for AirTag, which is designed to make it easier for an AirTag to fit inside a wallet for tracking purposes. With Card for AirTag, an AirTag fits inside the middle of a card-shaped holder that's then meant to fit inside of a wallet. According to Nomad, the design offers a smooth, uniform shape that...