There were two waves of podcasting that broke through into public consciousness. Podcasts have been around for more than 10 years and when they first broke through in 2004-2005 during the time of the iPod (hence the name ‘podcast’), podcasts were mostly the domain of the geeky and nerdy. They got a bit of media attention and then disappeared.
Then in 2011-2012, podcasts on every subject started to emerge. Serial, hosted by American journalist Sarah Koenig and released as a spin-off of the radio programme This American Life, is the podcast series credited with creating a cultural phenemenon. The series is a real-life investigation to find the truth behind a conviction whose evidence was scarce and which put a teenager in prison for life. It’s an immersive experience; like a radio show on steroids. There are so many plot twists. I’d also recommend This American Life, which is great in terms of quirky and interesting stories. My Dad Wrote A Porno, in which Jamie Morton and his friends read a book his dad self-published, is a very funny British podcast. The dad’s porno is possibly the world’s worst porno – cringey and totally implausible. Freakonomics covers much more detail about specific topics than the book. You might think we’ve exhausted counterintuitive thinking but the podcast is really interesting.
The great thing about podcasts is that you can find every subject covered, from dating and sex to fashion and football. I recommend that you just get on iTunes and explore! It’s also a way to find repeats of your favourite shows such as The Archers. I’m a big fan of The Archers, which inspired Dumteedum [The Archers fan podcast created and co-hosted by Roifield] – we get great fan interaction and we’ve had actors and writers from The Archers on the show.
Roifield Brown also devised and produced How Jamaica Conquered the World, which was awarded 06/2012 iTunes Podcast of the Week and produced Skylines for The New Statesman. Among other projects, he is currently also busy with US and UK political show Mid Atlantic and 10 American Presidents, which boasts 40,000 downloads a month on iTunes. http://www.roifield.com