By Sharad KC

As I was planning for my year-end trip to see my Grandmother in her village, my brother-in-law, who lives in the U.S., suggested I download Serial on podcast. Although I knew what podcast was, I had never listened to one and was quick to reply that I would rather read a book than listen to a radio show. I thought radio was an old school thing for people my father’s age. But he insisted that this was different, so I told him that I’d give it a shot and downloaded all twelve episodes of the Serial podcast before heading off on my trip.

Fast forward a couple months to present day – I just cannot get enough of podcasts! The first impressions I’ve had from the twelve episodes of Serial have been addictive, and I’ve never turned back since then. Podcasts have all sorts of program content: informative, comedy, music, politics, sports; basically anything that interests me. Every day I look for new programs and episodes and listen to them with great interest. Podcasts have become my soundtrack as I go about my daily routine. Some of my favorite podcasts include Freakonomics, Invisibilia, Serial, and Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Even from my short two months of experience, I am confident that podcasts are a great tool for learning and entertainment and are definitely going to generate employment. Moreover, they are addictive which could be the reason behind the exponential growth in audience. According to a recent article from Washington Post, last year, Apple said subscriptions of podcasts through iTunes reached 1 billion. RawVoice, which tracks 20,000 shows, said the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has tripled to 75 million from 25 million five years ago. This constant and rapid growth has helped podcasts become a profitable industry and help create many jobs which otherwise would have evaporated along with radio.

The supply and demand for podcasts are definitely going to grow as wearable technologies, smart phones, and in-car media become widespread. They are very handy tools for learning and entertainment due to the fact that you can tailor it to your needs and without the traditional advertisements of radio. Furthermore, the luxury of multitasking while listening to a podcast is an added bonus to our ever so busy lives.

So, if you haven’t already, give podcasts a try!