What's Behind The Great Podcast Renaissance?

I'm a fan of talk radio. It is all I listen to. I started to listen to talk radio back in 2006 when I listened to 97.1 Free FM in Los Angeles when they used to be the only FM talk radio station available. Unfortunately, the station was forced to shut down in 2009. Nowadays, I listen to podcasts. They're great. If there's a subject that you are interested, there's probably a podcast dedicated to that topic. A lot of the ones I listen to are centered around tech, but there are podcasts on food, beer, parenting, sports and even a podcast about starting a podcast business. I find podcasts appealing because they cater to my specific interests and I can listen to them when I want to. Instead of tuning in to a specific station at a specific time, I just download them to my phone and listen to them whenever I want.

There are many reasons why podcasting is more popular now than ever but there is one major factor: it is easier to listen on the go.

The secret to radio's success has always been the drive-time commuter. An estimated 44 percent of all radio listening takes place in the car, and that's the way the radio industry likes it. Car-based listeners are captive, they tune in for long stretches at a time, and they're valuable to advertisers. 

I have no doubt that podcasting will become more and more popular once it's as easy as choosing a station on the radio. Until we reach that point, here are some tips on how to start listening to podcasts.

First, you need to get a podcast player. The default one from Apple is decent. If you want a step up, consider downloading Castro or Overcast.

Next, find a few podcasts that line up with your interests. Here are a few of mine:

These are just a few. There are hundreds out there. If you have any favorites, please leave them in the comments.