I had the idea for this one this morning — but forced myself to wait to draw it until I’d hit my client deadlines, and then to wait to post it until I had edited and queued up the latest episode of my podcast.
It’s amazing to me just how explosively podcasting has grown in the past few years since Serial first aired. (In much the same way that Twitter snobs divided users according to where they’d joined “Before Oprah” and “After Oprah,” I believe podcasts can be divided into “Before Serial” and “After Serial.” My current podcast is waaaay After Serial.) Don’t take my word for it; trust Tom Webster and the good folks at Edison Research. Their annual Infinite Dial survey shows that, for the first time, more than half of Americans 12 years old and over have listened to a podcast… with one-third saying they’d tuned in sometime in the past month.
In my home city of Vancouver, Canada, there’s an entire firm devoted to producing great branded podcasts: the mighty Pacific Content, recently acquired by Rogers Media. Another local company, Cortado Productions, recently launched Call the Question, a terrific political podcast (it’s hosted by two of my favourite women in politics, Lesli Boldt and Maria Dobrinskaya). And a third company, Cited Media, is purely in the business of producing podcasts for scholars and academic organizations about their research.
These are just the three I know of because friends or clients are involved. I’m sure there are many more.
The podcasting sector is for real. More people are making a living at it than ever before. (I have some familiarity with that from a little cartooning I did a few years ago.)
I couldn’t be happier to see things taking off so widely. I’m delighted folks are making a go of it financially, but I’m just as happy that there’s a good, healthy contingent of folks still producing podcasts for the sake of pure self-expression. I don’t ever expect the Leadership Communications Podcast to land me a seven-figure book deal (or even a two-figure sponsorship — by the way, have you checked out Squarespace?)… but I enjoy the hell out of making it.
Even if, or especially if, I’m recording it in my bedroom closet.