How Podcasts Took Over The Media Landscape

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

When people think of a college campus, they usually imagine busy students walking to class with their heads down, backpacks on, and headphones plugged in. It’s often assumed that they are listening to music on that walk to class, but are they really? They might be walking to a slightly different tune – podcasts. 

According to a study from Edison Research and Triton Digital in 2019, 40 percent of monthly U.S. podcast listeners were between the ages of 12-24. Only 17 percent of listeners were 55 and older. The study concluded that the dramatic increase in younger audiences listening to podcasts were probably for a few reasons.

For starters, many popular celebrities such as Anna Faris, Sadie Robertson, and Dax Shepherd have actually started their own podcasts, serving as an outlet to share personal experiences, interview guests, and give advice to their fans. It’s almost like a series of personal conversations with them. 

Additionally, companies such as Apple and Spotify have invested amounts as much as $400 million into their podcast productions in order to improve ratings. They have listened to what their audiences want. 

Take The Bachelor for example. The show has an average of 6 million viewers. Because of the show’s undeniable success, it not only created more, equally addicting shows (The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart), but also podcast spin-offs. Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti have their own, the producers have one, and even Nick Viall, arguably one of the worst Bachelors in Bachelor history, has one.

“I’ve been listening to Bachelor Happy Hour – The Official Bachelor Podcast. The hosts are Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin, who are both past Bachelorettes and they talk about their own experiences, interview current cast members, past Bachelor alumni, give their thoughts on the current season and so much more. It’s just as entertaining as the show, honestly,” says Syracuse University freshman Allie Schuster. 

For audience members, The Bachelor podcasts are just as exciting, funny and juicy as the show itself, drawing in even more Bachelor addicts. 

Schuster actually prefers listening to podcasts over music. “I normally put on my AirPods and play a podcast as I get dressed and put my makeup on, and continue to listen to it as I walk to class,” Schuster said. “I also really like running to podcasts; it just passes the time better than music does.” 

Sophi Pennex, a freshman at Syracuse University, shares Schuster’s love of podcasts. Her parents actually sparked her interest in podcasts.

“I started listening to podcasts in my freshman year of high school. My parents have always listened to them and would play the NPR ones while they drove me to school,” she says. Ever since then, Pennex continues to listen to NPR everyday. “I’ll listen to NPR News on my way to my first class and then music the rest of the way. Podcasts are really my main source of news,” she says.

The great thing about podcasts is the variety of genres, as they range from educational, to lifestyle, to news, to religion, and even to true crime. 

“My favorite genre is probably true crime ones because I find those the most entertaining. I really like how they’re actual stories and it’s almost like watching an actual tv show,” Pennex says. Her favorite is Crimetown, which focuses on how organized crime has shaped American cities. 

If you’re new to podcasts, you’re probably wondering where to even start. Lucky for you, we’ve included a list of some of our favorite podcasts. Maybe it’s time to listen to something a little different for your next morning walk to class!


Long-form News

Quick News

True Crime

The Bachelor