Podcasts are gradually creeping up on radio with its edginess and willingness to tackle taboo topics in Nigeria.
A podcast is a digital audio file that is available for downloads. It is usually a series and each new episode is on a new topic. Each episode is made available to subscribers automatically.
Podcasts have been around for a decade or so but its popularity has soared within the last three years as smart phones have integrated with the daily lives of millions of people around the world.
On the traditional radio format (which Nigeria still operates) there is many codes and laws that restrict many on-air personalities from fully expressing themselves. Abroad, satellite radio does not have that problem but we don't have a satellite radio industry in Nigeria.
In the era of social media which is the digital wild, wild west and anything goes, listening to a 'safe' radio personality hold back. People no longer want safe, they want edge. This is what podcasts provide- a realness that radio can't give. Most podcast hosts don't hold the brakes when talking on most issues. Most times they are politically incorrect.
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In a country where radio is mostly dominated with music and has little on commentary, podcasts have the avenue to be the new wave. Not much focus is put on youth and related programmes for them in radio programming. Radio might feel alien to a lot of young Nigerians right now because a lot of the programmes are not created for them.
The edginess of most podcasts more or less appeals to young people because they cover topics that conventional radio shies away from. A podcast like Loose Talk touches on sexuality, masculinity, feminism, pop culture and religion. You would be hard pressed to find a candid programme like this on Nigerian radio.
There are other podcasts coming up in Nigeria that are touching on topics shunned by radio and that is why a lot of young people are gravitating towards them.
Although for now, radio has the numbers and the structure even though a podcast is relatively easy to that. While some podcast hosts have purchased recording equipment some podcast hosts record their episodes with the voice recording app on their phones.
Radio is still more popular for now but as young people seek for audio programmes that reflect their lifestyle, podcast listenership will start having bigger numbers.