Why Do People Listen to Podcasts?

Why Do People Listen to Podcasts?

There are quite a few reasons why people listen to podcasts. The first and most important reason people listen to podcasts is based on personal connection. How many shows on television or radio encourage you to actually relate to the host in any meaningful way? Probably not many, and that kind of engagement just isn’t as fun or compelling as knowing your host.

On the other hand, any podcast you listen to feels much more personal because it’s like the host is talking to you, especially if it’s run by 1 or 2 hosts that you are familiar with or is a friend of a friend. Also, you have a better chance to make an impact by commenting on the original post, sending questions, giving voice feedback or even being part of the interview if you have something relevant to say related to the podcast topic.

Personal sphere

The second big reason, which fits well with the first one, is the ability to connect with the hosts. It doesn’t matter what the podcast is about – be it software development, entrepreneurship, movies, or motorcycles. It matters only if you can relate what the host is saying to yourself.

Imagine somebody reading a book and recording it without any references to who he is, what he is doing or how the topic is relevant to him.  That would sound like a robot, which is basically like reading a Wikipedia article without any human emotion. As human beings, we connect best with other people. That is why when the host is speaking about what kind of problems he has during work, like never ending bugs in the code and how he handles them or why he is excited about an upcoming movie, we can relate somehow. These emotions connect listener to host and drive passion for any listener toward his favorite podcasts.


RetroActivo Podcast by David Martín. License

The third reason people listen to podcasts is that you can always learn something new. If you are interested in a topic, there is a good chance  there is a podcast for it. Once you start listening, the consistency principle kicks in and you just want to do it over and over, especially if you have been listening to it for awhile. This is especially true for podcasts that are relevant to you. For example, with software development, it’s about always being on the cutting edge of technology and knowing what the next big thing is. Podcasts that talk about entertainment, like movies or TV series, cover what new movies are coming out or who the new actors are. Podcasts can be about anything, as long as someone has something to say. You can share your favorite podcasts with your friends and colleagues, too!

There are tons of reasons why people listen to podcasts and it’s a host’s job to give his listeners the right topic they want to listen to. It is up to the host to figure out what his listeners want and how he can engage his audience so it can grow steadily.

Audience by Igor Zalbidea

Audience by Igor Zalbidea License


To mention a few examples:

  • TropicalMBA – combines entrepreneurship and personal growth and is presented from a unique perspective. It not only helps you learn but also inspires you every day to grow.
  • Geeks Guide To The Galaxy – the newest entertainment from movies to books for all those smart young people, brought to you by the same type of people.
  • Front End Chatter – nothing but motorcycles and just pure sincerity and passion from a couple of hosts from the UK.

Listen through The Podcast Host’s feature on “Why do People Listen to Podcasts”. A few reasons they mention are:

  • Information – Get the latest news just to be up to date
  • Learning – Gain some knowledge that could be useful for you in your daily or professional life
  • Entertainment – This is a big one and probably the biggest one of all three (just look at the podcast Serial and its success).

Amber Rosario in her article at The Telescope says that one of the reasons she listens to podcasts is to hear someone else’s perspective on a particular TV show she follows

Blogger Michael Sitarzewski gives a personal account on why he is an avid podcast listener. He believes that podcasts are teaching him even when he’s just listening subconsciously. Yet another great reason to listen to podcasts!

In the end, does the reason actually matter as long as you are getting the downloads for your podcast? At CastSource, we think it matters a lot. We are committed to get the right tools to maximize audience potential to every host. Our main goal is to help you engage your audience better. In short, we want to make your listeners happy. That is the primary value this company stands for.

If you have spent the time reading to this point I want to express my gratitude. I really believe in the saying, “give everything you know or help in anyway you can and it will be returned to you in multiplies.” That is why I commit to you reader. If you post a comment with a link to your podcast episode, I will listen and give you feedback on these same reasons I wrote about here.

About Evaldas Miliauskas

Evaldas Miliauskas is the founder of CastSource - a startup that provides transcriptions designed for podcasts. He is a passionate podcaster listener, host, and a entrepreneur.

Entries by Evaldas Miliauskas