6 Major Reasons behind the Increasing Popularity of Audiobooks and Podcasts

Explained: The Rise of Audiobooks and Podcasts

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to finish a book by the weekend? But, you were unable to do so because you had to run errands, travel or caught up with a busy schedule? 

Then, Podcasts or Audiobooks can come to your rescue. 

To start with, What is a Podcast? A Podcast refers to an on-demand talk radio series.

This means that you do not have to tune in live or search for a well-lit reading room. You can listen to it from anywhere and at any time, all you need is a digital device and access to the internet.

On the other hand, Audiobooks refer to the professional audio recording of a book. Now that we have clarity on the basics let’s understand why there is increasing popularity of Audiobooks and Podcasts.  

Key Takeaways

  • The growth of Podcast and Audiobooks can be attributed to its various advantages, such as Easy accessibility, a variety of genres, Multitask-friendly, and helps build connections!
  •  The term Podcast is the amalgamation of “iPod” and “Broadcast”. 
  • Audiobooks are a boon to those who hate reading and also for those who love reading.

A brief history of Podcasts and Audiobooks

The history of Audiobooks dates back to 1932 when The American Foundation for Blind was established, and the studio produced recordings of books on vinyl records.

 Each side of the vinyl record had the capacity to hold a speech of about 15 mins. Later on, Congress passed amendments that gave the Congress Library the authority to produce Audiobooks.

Since then, technological advancements have helped boost the growth and popularity of Audiobooks.

The birth of Podcasts is relatively recent, in 2004 when Adam Curry and Dave Winer designed a program named iPodder to download radio broadcasts to Apple iPods. 

So, the term Podcast is the amalgamation of “iPod” and “Broadcast”. 

Why are Podcasts and Audiobooks popular today?

Today if you would have noticed, the popularity of Podcasts has increased by leaps and bounds. People of varied age groups have started embracing it. 

On the other hand, Audiobooks are a boon to those who hate reading and also for those who love reading.

 Though it may not give you the same experience as reading a hardcopy version, it still has managed to gain popularity among the masses. 

Let’s take a look at the reason behind the rise of Audiobooks and Podcasts

1. Easily Accessible

Firstly, the main reason why Podcasts and Audiobooks are on the rise is that they are easy to access. 

All you require is a digital device and an internet connection, and you’re good to go. 

Secondly, most of them available on the internet are free of cost or ask for minimal fees unless you are streaming it from a premium app/website.

2. Multiple Choices

Podcasts are more or less like radio on demand, but the advantage is that you have the option to choose from 48+ million episodes of various themes and pick your favourite!

 Podcast highly focuses on the aspect of ‘listener’s choice,’ giving you the freedom to explore a wide variety of content ranging from Motivational programs to Crime thrillers. 

Similarly, as per reports published in 2017, there were 68+ million audiobooks available. 

Many at times, before subscribing, you are also given free access to the audiobook library collection, which is a great way to find out whether you like audiobooks and also get to listen to the collections from your favourite authors!

3. Multitask and Chill

Podcasts and Audiobooks give you the freedom to listen to your favourite series at your convenience. 

You do not have to have a designated well-lit study room, chair or desk. You can listen to them while drawing, cooking and even while jogging.

 Basically, they’re multi-task-friendly.

 So, if you were someone who was not introduced to the world of podcasts or audiobooks, now you know how exactly you can utilize your time to do something productive and fun! 

4. Builds a connection

When we watch our favourite actors on screen, we often feel like there is a personal connection between us, even though we haven’t met in real life, right?

Similarly, when you start listening to Podcasts, you build an intimacy with the Podcast host. 

It’s more or less like you are interacting with a person who has the same interests as you in specific domains. Therefore, the entire process becomes personal.

5. Networking

Podcasts are a great way to establish a network and build a community. So, what is a community?

 It’s the process of bringing like-minded people with similar interests together. 

The Podcast community is no different; there are meet-and-greet sessions held where fellow Podcast enthusiasts come together to share their ideas and experiences, get a sneak peek behind the scenes and even get to meet the host and interact with them. 

6. Motivates you to read more

As we all know, books are one of the greatest treasures of life. We can gain a plethora of knowledge from them. 

With the advantages provided by the features of Audio Books such as easy access, multitask-friendly and a variety of options to choose from.

It ultimately encourages us to read more and helps us enhance our listening skills, retention capacity, critical thinking and improves our vocabulary.  

Best Podcasts and Audiobooks

To start with, here are some of the best Podcasts and Audiobooks available on the internet:

 AUDIOBOOKS:

  1. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
  2. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki

PODCASTS:

  1. Journey with Mr Ratan Tata, Ivy Leagues and Women in Entrepreneurship Ft Shantanu Naidu
  2. Stuff You Should Know by Charles W and Josh Clark
  3. Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend 

To listen to Podcasts on Spotify, head over to: https://open.spotify.com/genre/podcasts-page 

The Future of Audiobooks 

 If we take a sneak peek at the future outlook of audiobooks. Then, we will be utilizing technological advancement to its fullest potential to enhance the user experience.

Even though Audiobooks tend to offer various advantages compared to their traditional counterparts, Book and e-book lovers tend to zone out when they are introduced to Audiobooks.

 To solve this issue, Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications might be used to enhance the user experience. This is done by giving variation in the narration style and changing it from a monotonous tone to rap or dramatic one to grab the listeners’ attention!

There would be increasing competition between podcasts and audiobooks. 

These music streaming apps means that there are high chances that each of these platforms would come up with multiple new features to engage their audiences and enhance the quality of the experience.

 We can also expect far better integration of Books, e-books, audiobooks and podcasts. This will not only streamline the process but will also enhance the user experience in a great way. 

Also Read: 9 Jobs that Robots will probably replace in future

Wrapping Up: The Rise of Audiobooks and Podcasts

Audiobooks and Podcasts have revolutionized the Literature industry with their offering. 

They have encouraged non-readers to start reading and existing reading enthusiasts to read more. 

With millions of Podcasts and Audiobooks available on the internet, it has given the users a great experience of experimenting with different authors and genres and utilizing their time in a fun and productive manner.

The future of Audiobooks and Podcasts looks bright, with Artificial Intelligence taking centre stage and helping in enhancing the user experience and streamlining the entire process. 

Through this blog, we hope that you also try immersing yourself in the world of Audiobooks and Podcasts.

Do let us know your take on this in the comment section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a podcast?

Podcast refers to an on-demand talk radio series. This means that you do not have to tune in live or search for a well-lit reading room. 

You can listen to it from anywhere and at any time, all you need is a digital device and access to the internet.

2. What is the story behind the origin of the term “iPod”?

The birth of Podcasts is relatively recent, in 2004 when Adam Curry and Dave Winer designed a program named iPodder to download radio broadcasts to Apple iPods.

3. Will AI be incorporated into Audiobooks in future?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) might be used to enhance the user experience by giving variation in the narration style and changing it from a monotonous tone to a rap or dramatic one to grab the listeners’ attention!

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