Podcasts? Aren’t those public access radio files Americans listen to? Don’t those things require a subscription fee? And time out… Are you kidding me?
To all those question, I’ll answer with a resounding no. Podcasts are increasingly embraced by Filipinos; they’re free; and yes, you should take them seriously, as a pastime or a hobby.
Why so? Here are 8 beautiful reasons why.
8. It’s time well spent while you’re stuck in traffic.
When you’re living in a city like Manila, so much of your life is wasted on waiting—waiting in lines, waiting at the office, and not to mention, the mother of all waiting: waiting in traffic.
But yes, thanks to these magical audio files from the sky, that stretch of commute time is something you’ll be looking forward to everyday. You’ve run out of excuses: Podcasts are accessible through any smartphone, even if yours is something you purchased from a tiangge. And with Google Play and iTunes, they’re absolutely free of charge.
So instead of staring at Glutathione billboards in EDSA for two hours, why not spend the time feeding your brain with the best interviews with your favorite comic book creators or if not, recorded sessions of an obscure stand-up comedian?
It’s tons of fun, believe me.
7. They’re smarter than mainstream media.
If you’re a bona fide fan of mainstream Pinoy radio, then skip this entry. But yes, local AM radio, most of the time, operates more like a wake-me-up device, thanks to the screeching sound effects and videoke-inspired playlists. (Rupert Holmes, anyone?)
Podcasts, on the other hand, are less spontaneous, more curated, and do not cater to the needs of advertisers. Most podcasts—especially the good ones—make you feel like you’re having a conversation with a very intelligent person. And yes, sometimes they’re more palatable than those boring-ass lectures you attended in university.
6. There aren’t a lot of censors.
When you consume mainstream media, like a talk show with a big-time host such as Boy Abunda or Jimmy Fallon, chances are all those interviews were rehearsed and re-edited, or plainly, they just smack of fakeness—a dog-and-pony show cooked up by a PR agency.
The truth is juicier in podcasts. You’d hear celebrities cursing like truck drivers, or talking smack about their bosses, or telling anecdotes that’ll surely get them in trouble.
It doesn’t get as fun, exciting, and honest as that.
5. The topics are more diverse.
Think of podcasts as pirate radio. All those mainstream TV shows and streaming media you consume, they’re all basic, vanilla, lowest common denominator stuff.
There are podcasts for just about every subculture, from sports fans to Game Of Thrones re-cappers to conspiracy theorists living in their parents’ garage.
Just about every topic under sun is discussed, dismantled, overanalyzed to the ground. The list runs endless, you’d go cross-eyed.
4. It’s a hotbed of creativity.
Who would’ve thought that in the 21st Century, spoken word audio files would be the hot new art form? And to think radio plays and broadcasts were the products of the 1920s!
Podcasters truly are a creative bunch. And no, you won’t be getting run-of-the-mill radio broadcasts with those snore-inducing, creepy-sounding announcers. Everyone in the game seemed to have stepped up on their sound engineering game that these streaming audio files come with a lot of bells and whistles.
Take for example, the Nocturne podcast, where taped interviews flow into another in an audio tapestry that’s further prettified by ambient sounds and haunting musical passages.
What more could a listener ask for, right?
3. It could teach you how to speak better English.
If you plan on taking your English-speaking skills to the next level, look no further than the world of podcasts. Take note on how the best TED Talks speakers turn a phrase or use silence to stress a point.
2. It could let your eyes get some rest.
Do your tired eyes a favor and stop staring at your Facebook feed after a long day’s work. You’ve been staring at screens since you crawled out of your bed, for God’s sake!
Slip on your headphones, apply some artificial tears, and let your ears do all the absorbing for a good hour or so. The absence of those insomnia-causing computer light surely is good for the eyes. And the time that you’ll spend is as good as reading a chapter of a great book.
1. It’s a great sleeping aid.
I guess this pretty much explains itself. I’d recommend listening to podcasts in pitch darkness. It does wonders to the mind!
And who knows? Maybe all that precious information could seep into your subconscious while you take your forty winks.
Got any podcast recommendations? Share them with us below!