A couple of years ago I posted that I liked podcasts well enough but felt that since I could read so much faster than I could listen, I felt I would never really personally embrace the format. That was until my son and I began to create and deliver a podcast series about baseball Almost Cooperstown (yes I know, shameless plug but tell your friends anyway).
The point that I missed about podcasts was not that it was a possible revenue stream (it almost certainly will not be), but that it is a live recorded audio program. Unlike reading, when you listen us talk about baseball, you can hear the emotion, our passion, laughter, and our case as New York Met fans, exhaustion and frustration. While all these emotions can be portrayed in writing – and yes, that’s faster to absorb, it’s different and that’s a good thing.
As you might imagine, I’m not all that keen on audiobooks for the same reasons. They take too long and unless I am taking a long car ride (which I do enjoy), listening to an audiobook while working out, or walking has not captured my fancy and perhaps that will change over time as has become the case with podcasts.
I’ve listened to Serial (hasn’t everyone tried an episode?) and Bill Simmons” The Ringer’ and both are very good. I find it interesting that podcasts are becoming a bit shorter in length to an average of 36 minutes according to a Digiday article Keep the Medium Premium, and that is about the longest length episode we’ve done in our first ten. Doing a weekly podcast any longer than that would seem to be onerous for both the creators as well as listeners/followers.
It’s true that I can still read faster than I can listen. I most often listen to podcasts (and talk on the phone) while I am walking. I feel it allows me to fully focus on what I am hearing while I walk around – usually much further than I would have otherwise. Podcasts are here to stay and if you want to better understand their value you might consider recording one yourself!