The summer is one of the best times of the year to take in a podcast while lounging under that beach umbrella. Okay, so that’s not a real piece of data as it’s more or less a sentimental season to me. But you see, I heard my first ever podcast in 2009 and can remember it like yesterday. It made me laugh every week, put a smile on my face and was the epitome of comedy done well.
It was called “Sex Talk with Jimmy Stewart,” and its lead charismatic host impersonated the It’s A Wonderful Life actor most impeccably, while providing sex advice to listeners. That was the kicker—knowing that a beloved American icon like Stewart would deliver sex advice to the masses. It was a bright and hysterically crafted podcast boasting a little more than 14,000 followers and fans on its Twitter, including notable fan, Brian Baumgartner of The Office. (It was an unbelievable summer.) Of course, from that day onward, I was hooked on podcasts! The next one I heard was very different in nature and delved more into the paranormal realm. It was aptly called “My Paranormal Podcast” and was hosted by a dynamic pair of former Indiana ghost hunters by the name of Bruno and Anthony in 2010. Sadly, both podcasts today are now defunct and became ghosts much like their moniker.
While some podcasts can’t quite keep up with their success or devote time to the production, others have and most effortlessly. It’s no secret that podcasts have really taken off over the years, but evidently more so after 2008 and 2009. A Pew study reports podcast listeners have actually doubled since 2008, from nine percent to 17 percent as of January 2015. And while most of its increasing success might be owed to “Serial” exploding onto the scene in 2014, smashing iTunes download records worldwide, weekly podcasts are making a huge splash with listeners and are a beloved staple on our devices. As that itch for the next best podcast gets, well, itchier for so many of us, it’s astonishing to see the realm expand.
With summer arriving in just a few short days, it’s time to lay back and take it easy with podcasts that are not as intense but just as exciting to hear. While a captivating story that will inevitably turn into a movie later this year can be a great beach read, try to expand your narrative appetite beyond books and tune into some of the freshest podcasts the season has to offer. From comedy to cooking, empowerment to relationships, there’s a podcast for everyone. Moreover, if you didn’t know already, podcasts are an awesome source of stories from real people about real things.