Meet Columbus' top podcasters
You can’t escape the popularity of podcasts. The guy with earbuds on the stationary bike next to you at the gym? Streaming Serial, the true-crime program that supercharged the podcast craze back in 2014. The couple in the car next to you at the red light laughing hysterically? Listening to Marc Maron or Conan O’Brien interviewing a comedian. Or maybe one of the Obamas.
The number of podcasts keeps growing—close to 800,000, according to the Columbus podcasting company Blubrry—and there are almost as many reasons for that growth as there are murder-mystery shows. With people spending more time alone these days, they increasingly turn to podcasts to keep themselves company. They download episodes at their convenience with their beloved smartphones and listen while making dinner, mowing the lawn or driving to work. And the format is more intimate than other forms of digital media—not to mention addictive, with shows like Serial, S-Town and The Shrink Next Door demanding binge listening. “You’re right in the listener’s ear,” says Dr. Mike Patrick, the creator and host of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s PediaCast. “You’re inviting them into your studio for a conversation.”
It’s also easy to create your own podcast. “The technology is incredibly accessible, and just about anyone can afford to get into it and create something,” says Michael De Bonis, a WOSU digital media and podcast producer. “There’s a place for all different types of people at all different skill levels.”