Podcasting. Let’s call this the Golden Age.
I am all-in on podcasting.
I’ve been watching the rise of the form for a long time, and there is no doubt that the training wheels are off, the audience is there, and the environment is bursting with talent and energy.
My daily 15-minute commute is filled with thoughtful stories that make me think, people who make me laugh, ideas that stick in my mind, and moments that make my eyes fill up. Nearly every day.
Gimlet Media is certainly lighting the path. Their commitment to quality is un-matched and they continue to impress with innovative ideas, fun concepts, and just good old fashioned integrity.
Another of my favorites is 99% Invisible. I am not sure how they turn out so many quality stories so fast. It’s truly impressive. (My only quibble is with Roman Mars’ microphone audio — it’s just kinda muddy.)
I could go on and on.
Just 18 months ago most podcasts were amateur affairs. And I’m not talking about the microphones and sound mixers being used. I’m talking about the commitment to the ideas. The podcast ranks were filled with thrown together interviews and rant sessions with undoubtedly talented people — that amounted to just a lot of annoying noise.
But things have changed in a big way. If you have the time, I’d highly recommend giving this episode a listen. In it, Alex Blumberg gives a detailed account of what goes into making a Gimlet show. Its exhausting work, but a thrilling listen (if you are at all interested in the creative process).
Gimlet is making a big, expensive bet. The kind of bet that could make or break the company. And it's a bet that comes…overcast.fm
So while television is certainly cruising on overdrive (perhaps its “Platinum Age”), podcasting has found its footing and is just as endearing as television was back in its Golden Age. From the stumbling along of the producers trying to figure out how to integrate advertising, to the startling revelation of how certain voices just seem to leap out of the earbuds and into our heads. Podcasting feels authentic, real, and oh so exciting.