Twitter in many ways is a depiction of the famed cartoon series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. For many years, four kingdoms consisting of activists, influencers, scammers and twitter n*ggas existed in harmony. However, a new force is attempting to disrupt the balance of the Twitter universe as we know it, podcasters. Each day, a new podcast emerges online and appears in the link section of your best friend’s Twitter bio. Yesterday, you’re neighbor started a podcast. Today, your significant other started a podcast. Tomorrow, you will probably start a podcast. These days it’s easier to be a podcast host than it is to be Soundcloud rapper and as the number of podcasts increases, we appear to face the same issues that have existed within rap for some time.
The emergence of podcasts like The Read, The Friend Zone, etc. have caught the attention of media hopefuls, journalists and creatives alike. Similar to the music industry, the existence of the internet, blogs and other platforms have eliminated the need for gatekeepers in the media industry. The internet has allowed anybody with access to it to become the next Angela Yee, Karen Civil or Sway. Podcasts are simply an extension of this change, but there comes a point in time when the market becomes oversaturated. This point in time has come for rappers, singers, YouTubers and it may be coming soon for podcasting. If you’ve listened to The Read, The Joe Budden Podcast, The Brilliant Idiots and The Grass Routes Podcast this week, you’ve probably heard a group of veterans within the entertainment industry give their own unique opinions about what is going on in pop culture today. However, if you were to listen to these podcasts and then listen to the one of the other 500,000 podcasts on Apple today, you would find that a large number of them are mimicking one of the podcasts you heard earlier. In this trend, we have a problem. At one point podcasting was this new frontier that was the wild, wild west for media entrepreneurs. Today, podcasting is mumble rap for media personalities. There is talent within those who do it well, but the overwhelming majority are copying the front-runners and regurgitating what they heard in other podcasts. What is the next step in the evolution of podcasting?
Today, podcasting is mumble rap for media personalities. There is talent within those who do it well, but the overwhelming majority are copying the front-runners and regurgitating what they heard in other podcasts.
Unfortunately, one of the podcasting industry’s next steps is it’s Soundcloud “mumble rap” phase. It’s showing signs of happening in the near future and with over 500,000 podcasts on Apple as of February, it’s nearly inevitable. Furthermore, streaming platforms and record labels are going to get involved on a larger scale. Atlantic Records has already begun working on its podcasting division and other media giants will soon follow suit. As a result, we may see more and more label and corporate run podcasts take a hold of the industry. In many ways, this will benefit the hosts of the podcasts and the production value for the listener, but with any creative platform interacting with a business entity, there must be a balance. In the near future, we could see the upsides and downsides of this marriage. Above all else, many podcasts are trending towards the realm of becoming internet based conversational shows that resemble the likes of ESPN’s First Take and The Dan Lebatard Show. We have seen glimpses of this with Everyday Struggle, but in essence, many podcasts are simply becoming TV shows. All of these developments are a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they will help aspiring media personalities and journalists, like myself, ascend up the ladder to bigger paydays and higher visibility. On the other hand, the listener is going to have to endure the growing pains of an industry that is far from done growing. The only question is will the listener stick around for the “mumble rap” growing pains of the podcasting industry.