Your summer podcast guide: Why 2018 is the year of the ‘podcast boom’

Whether driving the car, sitting on a train, out running or doing the housework, more of us than ever before are choosing podcasts to keep us company.
The latest figures from Rajar suggest six million (11%) of us listen to a podcast each week.
That’s up from 3.8 million in 2016.
While that’s still a relatively low proportion of the population, it represents a 58% increase over a two-year period.
But one of the key factors is the age of those listening. Recent research from podcast platform Acast suggests that podcast listeners in the UK tend to be millennials – with two-thirds falling into the 16-34 age bracket. Of this group, 27% listen once a week, and 29% listen between two to four times a week.
What’s more, 21% of respondents in the Acast research, conducted by Ipsos Mori, said they had started listening in the last six months.
The popularity of podcasts with this elusive audience – which so many traditional broadcasters and media companies have failed to attract – may be one of the key drivers of the growing podcast market.
“This is the year podcasts have gone mainstream,” says Hannah Verdier, a freelance podcast reviewer. “A couple of years ago it was still a really niche thing. It seemed to me that no-one really listened to podcasts outside of the London media bubble.
“But this year feels different, and the last few weeks, in particular, they’ve really hit their stride.
“The one that has really exploded has been the Love Island podcast – it’s been on the top of the charts since it launched. It’s now seen as essential to a brand to have a podcast as well as a website.”
‘A podcast boom’
Matt Deegan, who produces the podcast Love Island: The Morning After, says: “In the last six months a lot of new podcasts have emerged, so it would be fair to say it’s having a bit of a boom.
“We’re seeing lots of tweets and reaction to our podcast – many of which are from college students who say they are listening to a podcast for the first time.
“The successful podcast format has traditionally been the companion format – fan-made shows, for the likes of Westworld, West Wing etc.

Source: BBC

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