The Life of a Listener, A Podcast Case Study

I first started to listen to podcasts around 3 years ago after I was introduced to it through CGPgrey and Brady Haran. Both educational YouTubers and video makers. They started a ten episode podcast experiment, discussing what it is like to be popular YouTubers and the things that were on their minds. These ten episodes were to test the podcasting medium and if their show would be successful. The topics were always different and always interesting. Everything from how to deal with audiences scrutinising your every move (Episode 1), all the way up to what podcast formats they listen to and what they enjoy about the it. (Episode 10).

These ten episodes were so unbelievably fulfilling and insightful that I left the conversations having new conversation topics that I never would have had without it. It made me a more interesting and interested person. It lifted me from my small bubble and got me thinking about what seems like small topics, in a much larger way. The human experience. Even when the conversations were entirely unrelatable, even when my knowledge on the area of a conversation was a bare minimum, I loved it. It was the human connection that was fascinating and kept me coming back. The broader knowledge I could gain from just Two Dudes Talking.

Eventually, the amount of content they put out couldn't keep up with my daily commutes. Seeing as I drove around an hour per day, I needed an hours worth of content to entertain me. So I branched out. I found out that other people I enjoy had podcasts.

I started listening to the Joe Rogan Experience because he interviewed somebody I really enjoy. I went through the back catalogues listening to every interview that involved someone I knew. Through this I came to like Joe Rogan and listened to episodes I could not relate to (Like the UFC) the exact same way I listened to Hello Internet. I spent hours going through Joe Rogan's until I hit a wall. 

In an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, number 328 if I recall correctly, he interviewed a seemingly humble and intelligent man named Dan Carlin. This changed my listening habits overnight. Dan Carlin was the host of two podcasts, but I only ever focused on one. Hardcore History. I always loved history and the idea that someone made a well researched, well structured and well presented series on World War One immediately got me interested. Every episode of 'Blueprint for Armageddon' was three hours long and their were 6 episodes. 15 hours of straight bomb dropping, trench fighting, politically intriguing entertainment. It was enthralling. My daily commute was suddenly time I spent learning. I would sit in my car once I arrived at my destination, listening to as much of the content as I could before I HAD to get out of my car.

Of course, that came to an end. I had no time to mourn however. Because in that time, Hello Internet had returned, and I didn't know about it. I didn't notice. Suddenly the episode count was in the 20's and the cycle started again. This brings me to the main habits of an avid podcast listener.

Here is the podcast experience:

1. Find a new podcast.

2. Listen to every single episode.

3. Find a new podcast.

4. While you were listening to the new series, your past podcasting addictions had made more episodes.

5. Listen to the all the new episodes.

6. Repeat.

If you're reading this you probably already enjoy listening to podcasts. Maybe you were linked this by a friend trying to convince you to listen to more podcasts. (Talking about podcasts is incredibly rewarding) Or maybe you stumbled across this blog post randomly. The one thing I want to leave all of you with is this;

Make your commute productive. Leave the boring radio talk behind and enter a world where you pick who you listen to. Find content you enjoy and let it make stand still traffic enjoyable. Become smarter because of it. Become a conversationalist because of it. Become a better listener and a better speaker, because of one humble little media outlet.

 

And who knows, maybe one day you'll make your own.