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Scripps College of Communication's Podcast Studio One housed by Schoonover Center.

Podcasters seek to educate, bring joy to listeners

Eddie Groves sits down with his best friend Nick Glenn every Saturday to talk about why they love Disney’s Star Wars. The two men share their passion for the franchise through a weekly podcast that people can stream on their YouTube channel, Echo Base Network. 

Based in Alabama, the best friends started Echo Base Network in March 2019, and have since gained almost 3,000 subscribers. However, it’s not always easy for people to sit down and watch a YouTube video, so they turned to the form of podcasts. 

“We’re a baby channel; we’re just getting started,” Groves said. “But we’re headed in the right direction.”

Within the past decade or so, podcasts have grown exponentially in popularity. This is partially attributed to Apple’s addition of the Podcasts app in 2012, which made listening almost effortless. 

However, arguably the biggest reason for its growing popularity is that podcasts are fairly simple to make, according to BBC News. All people need to create their own podcast is a microphone, a computer to record and edit and something they want to say.

Podcasts exist in every category of life. There are health podcasts like Nutrition Facts with Dr. Greger, celebrity interview podcasts like Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, politics podcasts like The NPR Politics Podcast and almost every category people could ever imagine.

This wide range of categories is what opened the door to Groves for his podcast about Star Wars. Groves appreciates podcasts for their inclusivity, as there seems to be a podcast for everyone.

“The best thing is being a part of a community that meets every week, and we get to know those people and stay in contact,” Groves said. “The community essentially helps us run the channel.”

Growth in podcasts doesn’t just come from professionally made ones. Students at Ohio University are filling up almost every slot to reserve the Scripps College of Communication podcast room in Schoonover Center. 

Luke Steiner, a senior studying journalism, is a college ambassador for the Scripps College and works with scheduling students who are looking to use the podcast room. Steiner has also recorded several podcasts at OU and other places and listens to podcasts almost every day.

“I think the biggest thing is because people can kind of listen to them while they go,” Steiner said. “I know I specifically listen to podcasts on my walk to class or walking back from class or to work, whatever it may be. I think it's just the ease of being able to listen to it.”

Podcast production doesn’t just require people to create them. For podcasts to gain popularity and success, the creators need listeners. 

A 2019 report from the New York Times shows that more than half of the people in the United States have listened to at least one podcast, and almost one out of three people listen to at least one podcast every month.

Ally Naso, an undecided freshman, listens to podcasts of her favorite YouTubers, such as David Dobrik and Emma Chamberlain. Naso feels that podcasts can save a lot of time when compared with watching a video or TV show. 

“It’s a way to get entertainment without having to dedicate time to watching a video,” Naso said. “I think they’re a cool outlet for people to enjoy something other than visuals or music-listening and that kind of thing.”

Typically, trends that grow in popularity so quickly have a habit of dying off, but Groves believes this is just the beginning for podcasts. 

Groves predicts that podcasts and social media networks will take over for regular television. He is especially confident after seeing the fast growth of his own channel. 

For Steiner, podcasts are a great way to get some education while on the go. He believes the future is bright, but that podcasts will not completely replace other forms of media. He knows some people won’t agree with the podcast format, but believes most people will like the specialized content presented in a mobile way. 

“If you go and watch a TV newscast, you're gonna have to watch everything,” Steiner said. “You can't necessarily skip to the parts you want. It's all about the ease of the listener: being able to know what information they want to know.”

Groves not only appreciates creating his podcasts and his channel as a whole, but views it as a way to foster a friendship he’s been working at since he was 12. After 28 years, Groves and Glenn live two hours apart but still work together to create content every week. 

“As big as that is all of the friendships that I’ve made, all of the connections I’ve made, being a part of other people’s shows, just being a part of the community and trying to do something that creates some positive vibes for our participants: doing that has been so rewarding,” Groves said.


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