While podcasts are not the most popular media outlet for teens and young adults to listen to, recently they have grown increasingly popular among adults. Some of you might have only opened this article because you were curious what a podcast is, fair enough. Podcasts, available for purchase in the iTunes store, are audio files that you can listen to or download online. Similar in style to a radio talk show, they cover a variety of topics, usually including celebrity or special guests, and are part of a series. Here are four podcasts that prove podcasts are making a comeback, and for good reason.
Serial is the celebrity of all podcasts. You may have heard about Serial before because it became a huge phenomenon last year. The podcast, narrated by Sarah Koenig, centered around the murder of Hae Min Lee in the 1990s. Adnan Syed was convicted of the murder, however his friend and lawyer believed he was wrongly convicted. Over the course of twelve episodes, the producers of Serial and the host delved into all of the details of this case, searching for answers. The production of this podcast is brilliant. Looking into an unsolved murder case sounds commonplace with so many shows, real and fake, about crime and murder. However, the way that this story was told is brilliant. Focusing in on specific aspects of the crime each week, going through interviews with everyone involved, phone interviews with Adnan from jail and trying to reenact the crime scene, you'll be hooked. After immense praise and support, the podcast has been renewed for a second and third season.
This American Life
This American Life is the parent of Serial, so you know it's worth listening to. This American Life is a radio show produced from Chicago that is listened to by over two million viewers, and is also the most popular podcast in the country. Each week a new episode airs, focusing on one particular subject. Recent subjects have been education, body image and amusement parks. They cover a wide range of topics, some broad or some very detailed, but follow a similar format of mixing first person narratives with current events and commentating.
TED Radio Hour
From the creators of the popular TED Talks and conferences, these podcast episodes hosted by Guy Raz condense TED Talks and group them by themes. If you like watching TED Talks, you'll love listening to them on this podcast. However, Ted Radio Hour doesn't just play back past TED Talks, they curate the hour in such a way that the listener is taken on a exploration of a topic and given new insight into a seemingly simple topic. Recent episodes include "Fighting Cancer," "Transformation," "Why We Collaborate" and "The Act of Listening."
Comedy Central Stand Up
This is the drunk uncle of all podcasts. This podcast is as entertaining as it gets, and will have you trying to hold in your laughter as you walk down the street listening. Through the voices of various well-known comedians, it feels as though you're sitting front row at their stand up show. You can listen to listen podcast, similar to the other ones, or you can watch it as a video.
Replace your commute or gym playlist for a podcast for one day and see how it goes. These podcasts and many others are great ways to learn about current events, new ideas and laugh hysterically in public. So go listen already!