Thursday, November 21, 2019

companion pod.

The other day i was talking to someone quite accomplished in the world of podcasts, and they made a really interesting point. They articulated the recent resurgence/success of podcasts framed not as an element of technology adoption, but in their ability to provide a companion.

And it got me thinking. 

How or why is this different from television? My sister felt like her friends had moved away when Monica, Rachel, and Ross left the building. My wife and I mourned the retirement of our oft-visiting uncle Jon Stewart (though we occasionally grab a late night snack with his pal Stephen Colbert or Jon Oliver). If there is time, we often escape to the Silicon Valley or Xadia, watch a Morning Show, or even go to a Galaxy Far, Far, Away. Sometimes we let my daughter have Elena, Peppa, or Doc McStuffins over, but usually when we need to get something done.  

But these are guests, house visitors who entertain us from the comfort of our couch.

Today's days are busier than ever, and - especially as a new parent - I find myself watching increasingly less and less TV...even on the go (despite us living in a golden/peak era where I find myself "banking" lots of stuff I'll watch later). 

Wherever I am - sitting on the train, running errands, or sometimes in the dark waiting for my daughter to fall asleep - I can pop in my headphones, close my eyes (not while driving, of course), and let my new pals whisper sweet nothings (or calmly exchange intelligent commentary) in my ear. Kara and Scott, the guys at Crooked Media, and occasionally Terry, Dubner, or Ira.

Unlike music, which I hear (and work, sing, and/or dance* along to), podcasts are something I want to really listen to. Because they get me. And they are with me, even if I'm just a fly on the wall listening.

And I guess that's companionship. 

*Only in the presence of people under the age of 10. MSRP. Subject to state and local guidelines. 
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