Have we hit peak podcast?

Peak Podcast

Have we hit peak podcast? I suppose that depends on what you mean by “peak podcast”. Let me explain.

Podcasting has absolutely boomed over the past few years. It seems now everywhere you turn there is a podcast on that subject. From Urban Chickens to Star Wars and everything in between. It doesn’t matter what the topic, there’s a podcast for it. The tools to produce them and host them have become much cheaper and more user-friendly so the temptation of grabbing a mic, hitting record and telling the World what you think has become attractive.

Over the past year or so I’ve gone from an occasional podcast listener to someone who listens to about 10 or 12 hours per week. I have a 50-minute drive to work every day which gives me plenty of listening time. It’s mostly business, writing or software related stuff with a dash of spice here and there. I’ll put my reading list below. To be honest, my conversion to podcast listener is as much about learning as it is about the crap that passes for radio these days but that’s a story for another day. Having said that, I can safely say I’m hooked. I find the drive to work much more enjoyable these days and there’s the added bonus of actually being able to learn something at the same time. Who said Men couldn’t multitask, eh?

However (you knew there had to be a however because of the title of this post right?)…

However, I do worry that we are already seeing the first signs of “peak podcast” and what I mean by that is I’m starting to hear a growing amount of repetition, especially amongst the shows that interview people. Just this week I heard the same guest being interviewed on 3 different podcasts and it’s not the first time that has happened recently.

What I think is happening, and this is only my opinion, but I think people are using PR Agencies more and more and that these agents are employed to get the speaker on as many shows as possible in a shorter time frame as possible. It’s like when a new movie is released and the stars are on the morning show on three different TV channels, then three different midday chat shows then a couple of late night talk shows, all within a day! I understand that it is efficient for the speaker but for the viewer, or podcast listener, it’s saturation point. I’ve recently had a bit of a cull in my podcast list just to get rid of some of the worst offenders.

On the positive side, it is possible to hear quite different interviews with the same person depending on the styles of the various interviewers but it still feels awkward to me to hear the same person interviewed multiple times over the course of a week. So while there might be early signs of fatigue, I don’t quite think we’ve actually hit peak podcast just yet, but if the folks producing them could track down their own guests instead of being spoon fed by PR Agencies then maybe we can avoid the peak for a little while longer. Here’s hoping.

So, as promised, here’s a selection of the podcasts I’m listening to at the moment, I highly recommend them all:

  • Mixergy
  • The Mainframe
  • The Distance
  • The Lede
  • Startups For The Rest Of Us
  • The Tim Ferriss Show
  • Bootstrapped Web
  • Confessions Of A Pink Haired Marketer
  • Foundr Magazine Podcast
  • Hack The Entrepreneur
  • WPElevation
  • Tropical MBA
  • Ruby 5
  • Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots (possibly the coolest name ever).

I’d love to hear your recommendations from your own podcast lists in the comments below. What do you listen to?

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