The Wymondham man running one of the country’s most popular podcasts from the Norfolk countryside
PUBLISHED: 14:52 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 23 January 2019
The Buggles said that Video Killed the Radio Star back in 1980 but now, in 2019, they might need to update their lyrics to reflect the entertainment world’s latest giant - the podcast.
A survey by Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJA) found that six millions adults listen to at least one podcast a week, with the majority of listeners aged under 35 and listening to their podcasts while relaxing, travelling or working.
And although television and live radio still attract more listeners and viewers, podcasts have increased in popularity by 58pc since 2016, when the figure was 3.8m. Today, there are more than 630,000 shows available for download.
Podcasts are audio episodes of varying lengths, usually around 30 minutes to an hour, and cover various genres including fiction and non-fiction, comedy, education and sport.
Actor and writer Adam Buxton, who lives in Wymondham, has one of the most popular podcasts in the UK. He said that podcasts allow people to create a personal relationship with the audience.
Mr Buxton said: “It doesn’t take long to get into the mind of the person or people making that podcast and they kind of become your friend.
“It is a weird thing because it offers you the opportunity to form a close meaningful, although one-way, relationship with another person.
“You let them into your life and they occupy your thoughts and you get into their humour, or they may irritate you and wind you up.”
Andy Dawson, who fronts popular podcast Althletico Mince with Bob Mortimer, which has more than 12m listeners, said the medium is more personal than others.
Mr Dawson said: “It’s like, but not radio. With radio and television there is such a structure.
“It’s a static format where they talk with an interview then a talking point.
“With podcasts being very niche, it appeals to what the person wants to listen to - they have chosen to listen to it.
“The people who are into our podcast will be so into it, it’s like a cult with the inside jokes, there’s an idea of ownership with a podcast.”
Mr Buxton added: “A lot of other media is less personal, there is so much scattered content these days and it is hard to form a valuable relationship. But it is quite easy to do with a podcast.”
Many podcasts focus on sport. The Pink Un Podcast, which looks at Norwich City Football Club, has been on air since 2008.
Presenter David Freezer said: “The growth in mobile technology is the clear reason behind the rise of podcasting, allowing users to choose the audio content they want to enjoy on their daily commute or on long journeys.
“When the Pink Un pod launched in 2008 cameraphones were still relatively new, let alone reliable ways of downloading and listening to podcasts.
“Now that’s easy and, speaking personally, you get into a rhythm of which show you’re going to listen to at a certain stage of the week.”
The fact that podcasts are more conversational could be another reason for their popularity. The RAJA survey showed that 88pc of listeners do so alone.
Mr Dawson said a podcast is more like a “natural” chat.
He added: “The idea was to do a football podcast, just sit down and talk about football but it moved into something else.
“When we meet [to record the podcast] we are hearing it for the first time and just trying to make each other laugh, so we’re hearing it for the first time and all the laughter is natural.”
Mr Buxton often records the start of his podcast while walking around the Norfolk countryside with his dog, Rosie.
The 49-year-old said: “We got a dog about 2013 and I had never had a dog before, I didn’t really like my dog to begin with.
“I became the primary walker and it was a good opportunity to get some exercise and when I would go for a walk with Rosie I would make voice notes about things I was working on.
“I thought ‘some of this could go in a podcast’ so when I started, I thought I would do the introductions while out walking.
“It’s better than sitting inside and it provides a bit of variety with the birds singing.”
For a number of creators, most of the conversation in their podcasts is based off talking points.
Writer and comedian Andrew Hunter Murray, from the UK’s second biggest podcast, No Such Thing As A Fish, said: “The podcast is completely unscripted, we all take away the headline facts then go away and do our own research so by the time of recording it is all completely fresh conversation.”
And Mr Freezer said: “Host Michael Bailey puts together a running order with a few topics but generally the idea is that the pod is conversational and light-hearted.
“Listeners want reliable opinion and analysis from football podcasts, and they like to get to know the regular personalities a bit over time as well.”
A number of podcasts have been able to grow from digital downloads into shows.
An audience will come and watch the podcast being recorded live as well as other aspects being added, such as stand-up comedy and singing.
Mr Hunter Murray, along with James Harkin, Anna Ptaszynski and Dan Schreiber, also known as the QI Elves, have taken their podcast on tour.
Mr Hunter Murray added: “The second half of our live show is a recording of a podcast, so we record a new podcast every seven days.
“But the first half is all of us doing a little comedy or factual things and making fun of each other so that is kind of a behind the scenes look.
“The first half of the show have very loose scripts which get changed if there is something we think of but we want to have something more polished than the podcast.”
•What are your favourite podcasts? Comment below with suggestions.
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