Podcasts are an exploited format

During the great lockdown of 2020, podcasts were clouding online media more than ever before. As people tried to stay active while working and studying from home, podcasts were essential to walks around the neighborhood. When some YouTubers realized how heavily their content relied on leaving their residence, podcasting became an efficient format for their ideas to be shared. Many podcasts are exclusively audio, which allowed new podcasters to relinquish the need for visual stimulation, unlike a YouTube video. 

As you may remember,  Joe Rogan signed an exclusive licensing agreement of his show “The Joe Rogan Experience” with Spotify, a deal that was worth $100 million. While podcasting was already a known profession similar to hosting radio, having your own show was now a cash cow for anyone who thought their voice was worth being broadcasted. 

It is clear to me that Spotify’s investment in the podcasting space was a wake up call for creators. People need to pay their bills, and making a podcast allowed creators to diversify their income and capitalize on a growing interest for podcasts. Now, we live in the aftermath of this pod-pocalypse. There are well produced podcasts, such as the “WAN Show” (Weekly Analysis & News) from Linus Media Group and the “Zach Sang Show” from Sangasong, but being a well produced podcast requires effort. You need to prepare topics or questions for your guests, make sure audio levels are consistent throughout the podcast, and potentially have people stand behind cameras. If a creator is striving to make more money without a focus on quality for their podcast, the preparation and post-production for their show does not matter.

In addition to my gripes about badly produced podcasts, there are the little details of a podcast that continue to haunt my ears. Many are much quieter than music is, forcing my airpods to be at their maximum volume. As much as I love “The Broski Report” from Brittany Broski, the volume issue is especially prevalent. I am fine with podcasts having ad breaks, but when they are placed in the middle of a sentence or a topical discussion, suddenly I do not feel bad for skipping past them. 

Podcasts are here to stay, despite the problems that I and others may have with them. After all, just hearing people converse on niche subjects is a good way to pass the time when completing chores, working out or just being productive. However, not any podcast can be a good podcast.