OTTAWA – The number of people producing podcasts is now far greater than the number of people who listen to them, according to a recent report.
According to the report’s authors, this directly inverts the broadcast model of the 20th century, where a small but highly trained, elite few produced quality radio and television broadcasts enjoyed by millions. Now, any moderately self absorbed person with a low quality microphone and a love for the sound of their own voice can produce and distribute media to a fraction of a dozen fans.
The announcement comes as no surprise to anyone who has explored their podcast app beyond the nine listenable titles produced by professionals. The remaining quarter of a billion podcasts, which, according to the report, “all sound as though they were recorded at the bottom of an empty paint can in the trunk of a moving car,” invariably feature people who aren’t particularly interesting discussing very particular interests.
“We’re really in the golden age of podcasting,” says Rod Dubois, who jumped on the already crowded podcast bandwagon without ever having listened to a podcast and despite having no knowledge of writing, editing, interviewing, sound engineering, marketing, or what other people are likely to sit through. “You can really express yourself any way want. Like last week, I went to the bank, and I tried to use the ATM,” he adds, digressing into a long story about a consumer banking experience that winds up incorporating an uninspired Game of Thrones fan theory and a shameless appeal to sign up for Squarespace.
Dubois now produces ‘Insipidia’, a 90 minute long daily podcast where he and his inarticulate friends engage in an unstructured, unedited, uninteresting discussion of “life, events, or whatever’s on our minds.” The podcast regularly draws up to some listeners.
‘Insipidia’ has since inspired a whole network of spin-offs hosted by the show’s regular guests. ‘Insipidia Review’ features readings of Insipidia’s iTunes reviews, while ‘Insipidia Preshow’ consists of recordings of the hosts setting up their microphones, and ‘Insipidia Roundup’ is an unabridged compilation of each week’s episodes into a single ten-and-a-half hour file.
According to the report, over 90% of all podcasts listed feature only one episode, while the remaining 10% have over 750. The podcast explosion shows no sign of slowing down: without drastic, large-scale government intervention, projections show that every person on earth will produce at least one podcast by 2026.
To download this article as a podcast, search iTunes, the Stitcher app, or wherever billions of hours of inane audio content are aggregated.