Written by Alfonso Elizondo

After the 2016 elections in the United States, lack of trust in journalism reached a record high. The term ‘fake news’ also became popular and there were flagrant cases of media outlets trying to influence the vote, which did not sit well with voters.

That’s when ‘podcasts’ appeared. Through association with YouTube, many podcasters earn income from the visitors they receive, although YouTube has been criticized for demonetizing videos that are considered right-wing. And this has led to some content creators moving to other sites such as Patreon.


Patreon operates on the basis of donations. Content creators set up accounts and if viewers enjoy the content they are asked to donate of their own free will. So Patreon was a source of income for Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson in their public career. It is estimated that Peterson earns more than $ 80,000 per month just from donations, which means you don’t need to rely on sponsorship and advertising and therefore its output is influenced only by its viewers.


Online media free up the content producer, allowing podcasters to express their uncompromised opinions. So Joe Rogan, with his unusual agendas, talks about aliens, pyramids, mushrooms and everything that comes to mind without an obvious agenda, and he constantly gets more than two million views per episode. In the meantime, Jordan Peterson refers his followers to the case of his daughter who cures depression with an all-beef diet for only 75 Canadian dollars.


On the other hand, podcasters do not have the time limits of television because each member of the IDW (Intellectual Dark Way) will not have guests on their program talking about complex issues for hours at a time. This allows guests to explore very different ideas without worrying about being removed from the screen.


Television normally has 30-minute slots reduced to 21 after ads. And on a night program where there is a host and three guests, each person has 4 minutes to talk, so you cannot have a deep conversation.


That is why conventional entertainment media have lost audiences as viewers keep moving to online media. In fact, the name Intellectual Dark Web came into being when IDW members found that their opinions were distorted, because television programs do not have the time to try to figure out the truth in a couple of hours.


The podcast has not always been as popular as it is now, and, like all media, it had a very difficult start.


Finally, we will say that the podcast could be compared to the Gutenberg Revolution, since producers usually give away podcasts for free and only ask for donations from those who are willing. This happened at the beginning of written language that could only be preserved because of books that, like podcasts, appeared a long time afterwards and preserved knowledge of human evolution. This means that whoever has access to the Internet can get a quality education free of charge from the Intellectual Dark Web.

In addition to this, audiences with smartphones can listen to podcasts on the fly, so someone driving to work can multitask while listening to their favorite podcast.


Addendum: There are not many other explanations for the success of podcasts, since this cultural phenomenon is very recent and is very likely to last a very short time before being displaced by another trend in the fast-paced digital world.