Why Do People Listen to Podcasts in 2019?

By Wenbin Fang · March 9, 2019

Why listen podcasts

Why listen podcasts from @martino_pietropoli 

Gone are the days when you skimmed through radio stations on repeat, trying desperately to find something worthwhile to listen to. Now anything you are interested in — from quantum physics to stand-up comedy to stories of love and loss — can be found and listened to at the touch of a finger.

What is this magical replacement to traditional radio? It’s known as a podcast, a term most people are familiar with nowadays. A podcast is, by definition, a an episodic series of digital audio files made available to download through the internet. Listeners can subscribe to their favorite podcasts and can listen either online or offline for ease of use. Better yet, they’re free!

I’m sure many of you already listen to podcasts on a daily or weekly basis. They make your mundane drive to work much more interesting, stimulate your mind while you clean the house and keep you motivated while working out at the gym. But why are podcasts so popular? What makes people want to listen to them over their favorite new single or a traditional radio show?


To Get Over a Creative Block

Let’s say you’re a writer of fictional stories, yet you’re stuck on the character development in a new novel you’re writing. By listening to podcasts that feature interviews with other fiction writers, you can gain insight into how they work from their own life, dreams, subconscious, etc to help develop characters in their own stories. In turn, you can use these ideas to help gain inspiration from your own life.

Recommended podcasts: Creative Slide with Jon Acuff, Launch

Keywords: Creativity, Jon Acuff


To Get Inspired

Have you wanted to travel the world? Build a non-profit organization? Live a more sustainable lifestyle? There are plenty of podcasts that feature interviews with activists, adventurers and small business owners that can help inspire you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Recommended podcasts: TED Talks Daily, Nobody Told Me!

Keywords: Nonprofit, Sustainability


To Spend Time More Effectively

Think of all the time you spend commuting to work, or going on your daily run, or even cleaning the house (yikes)! That’s a lot of time that can be used a lot more effectively. By listening to podcasts while you drive, run, or clean, you’re making optimal use of your time.

Recommended podcasts: Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, The Health Code

Keywords: Curiosity, Mindfulness


To Gain an Education

Did you major in business, but always house a secret love for sustainable agriculture? It’s easier than ever to expand your knowledge on any subject imaginable with the wide range of podcasts available. You can listen to new advances in technology, strange scientific discoveries and the best strategies to market your business or start a homestead.

Recommended podcasts: Radiolab, Stuff You Should Know

Keywords: Education, Guy Raz


To Stay Informed About Current Events

Spending too much time listening to the news can get depressing. To add a new dimension to your daily news, podcasts offer interesting debates that allow you to see issues from both sides and develop your own view of the problem. Podcasts often go much more in-depth into an issue than your traditional news source does, and add in a bit of entertainment value while they’re at it.

Recommended podcasts: Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist, The FRONTLINE Dispatch

Keywords: News, Current Events


Reasons to listen podcasts

Reasons to listen podcasts from @brigittetohm 


To Improve Wellbeing

If you’ve been feeling a bit down, there are plenty of self-help style podcasts that can bring optimism and clarity back into your everyday life. By listening to how others have overcome challenges, you can dig yourself out of that rut and gain hope for the future.

Recommended podcasts: Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, The Marie Forleo Podcast

Keywords: Oprah Winfrey, Self Help


To Enhance Relationships

If you have a strained relationship with a family member, a romantic partner or a friend, it can be difficult to look at the situation objectively and try to find a way to solve the problem. By listening to interviews with others who have dealt with similar situations, it can help bring clarity to your own issues and may give you the insight you need to solve them.

Recommended podcasts: The Heart, Dear Sugars

Keywords: Love, Relationship


To Move Forward in a Career

Sometimes it can be difficult to move vertically instead of laterally in a career. If you feel as though you have tried everything and can’t seem to get that next step up, listening to stories of other people in your field may help. There are plenty of inspirational podcasts that showcase people who have built themselves up from the bottom. By listening to these stories, you can gain ideas on how to progress in your own career.

Recommended podcasts: Something You Should Know, How I Built This with Guy Raz

Keywords: Professional, Networking


To Get Motivated

Even if you have hundreds of ideas swimming around in your head, it can take a lot of self discipline to set goals and complete the necessary steps to achieve them. By listening to motivational podcasts, you can gain the optimism and motivation needed to make each day count.

Recommended podcasts: The Daily Boost, Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Keywords: Motivational, Happiness


To Have Fun

If you’re simply out to relax and have fun, you’re in luck! There are a wide variety of podcasts that feature comedians telling stories, getting involved in hilarious debates, and making difficult topics lighthearted and fun.

Recommended podcasts: Duncan Trussell Family Hour, Rip’n & Skip’n With Evan & Kevin

Keywords: Comedy, Duncan Trussell


Regardless of whether you are 20 or 70, male or female, a free-spirited hippie or a strongly motivated businessman, there is a podcast out there for you. They’ll make you laugh and cry, get motivated to move forward in your career or give you the insight you’ve always needed to make a big life decision.

The sheer number of podcasts these days can make it difficult and overwhelming to know where to start. A great podcast search engine like Listen Notes makes it easy to browse by topic, search by keyword, or skim through the most popular! Before long, you’ll likely find yourself playing a podcast whenever you find a silent moment.