Podcasts As A TV Alternative

As I have mentioned previously, my family cut the cable in our home nearly five years ago. We use a variety of services to get our home entertainment, but I want to shine a light on one free source I frequently utilize, podcasts.

These days, most people are familiar with the term podcast. If not, the very short definition is an audio or video show freely distributed over the internet via RSS1. Many podcasts are audio only, but some are both audio and video. The important thing is that most podcasts are free; supported by advertising.

Podcasts have really exploded over the last 3-5 years and there is essentially a podcast for every subject. Here are just a few examples:

I could go on. If you are interested in a subject, chances are very high you can find a show that dives into it.

That diversity of topics is a big reason I’m a fan of listening to podcasts instead of watching TV. If you want to learn, there is a podcast for that. If you want to hear music, there is a podcast for that. If you want to zone out, there is a podcast for that. The wide variety of podcast topics means there is a wide variety of listening moods supported.

You may be asking, “Wow, podcasts sound great, are there any downsides?” I think the biggest, and only one I could come up with, is that unlike TV, podcasts are not easy to share with someone else. Since many podcasts are audio only, they don’t make for a good couch experience. That lean back experience is missing. Sure, you could sit down on the couch and listen to a podcast with someone, but I have never done that. Podcasts are however very shareable on a road trip!

So how do you listen to podcasts? I won’t attempt to answer that question here as the answer can vary widely. Google the phrase “listen to podcasts on X”, replacing X with whatever device you want to listen on. I mainly use my iPhone, but I do listen to them on my home and work computer as well. You can listen to podcasts on any smartphone, smart speaker, or pretty much anything that has an internet connection and plays audio.

Podcasts vary widely in length, from a few minutes, to multiple hours. If you have a hole in your life and want to fill it consuming content, podcasts are a great fit. I listen to podcasts on my morning commute, at the gym, walking outside, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, and pretty much anywhere else!

Despite the fact that I feel like podcasts aren’t every shareable, they can certainly replace a large portion of TV time. Including video podcasts, this is even more true. If you are looking to wean yourself off TV, and ultimately a cable bill, give podcasts a try.

Image courtesy of: Pexels

Footnotes:

  1. This is beginning to change. Spotify and Stitcher have exclusive podcasts that are not freely available via RSS []

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