Remember Serial? The podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig? Variety reported that it has been downloaded 340 million times! For the uninitiated, the non-fiction audio series investigates the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee.
Ever since Serial stormed our phones, the podcast market changed ever since. The thirst to consume audio series continues to thrive. According to a recent media report, 'By 2020, world podcast industry will reach $20 billion and the medium continues to become popular in India.'
* Love thy pod
What makes a podcast different is that you 'see' scenes folding up in your 'mind'. You completely reply on your ears. If it is an audio drama, you hear characters speak along with intense sound effects like footsteps, shuffle of the keys while opening a door, sound of fabric stretching as they settle on seats, rumble of the wind, howl of a storm, boots grinding over snow filled roads, you hear it all. And not to forget, the gripping background music. If movies have visual effects to grab our attention, then hands down a podcasts' sound effects is the heart and soul.
There are so many shows to listen. Most of the popular shows are available for free here. Apple Podcast and Google Podcast is the best choice of Apple and Android phone users. Here are two podcasts to consider.
* Modern Love
For beginners, who wish to listen feel good stories, then try 'Modern Love', a podcast based on essays published in the New York Times and read by Hollywood stars. Hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti, each episode includes short interviews with essayists. It is emotionally powerful, beautiful narrated with a serene tone. There is a perfect sync between the essay's theme and voice actors.
Like for example, in the episode, 'Misery Loves Fried Chicken' read by William Jackson Harper, about two friends who cling on to each other following a bitter breakup. 'When the movie ended, we shuffled outside with the rest of the Saturday night date crowd: handsome boys and coltish girls dressed in shorts and T-shirts,' reads William. 'They wandered outside, laughing and smiling, blissfully unaware of the dangers they courted. Would they still be happy and smiling in a year's time, knowing as we did that to love is to risk great unhappiness?'
To listen such deep words together with soul stirring background music makes you pause for a moment, asking for more.
* Marvel's Wolverine
Wolverine: We have seen this grim, short tempered superhero with claws storming the screens of the X-Men universe for over 20 years. But imagine listening to his story. The show, 'Wolverine' is Marvel's first scripted podcast produced by Marvel New Media and Stitcher.
With voice of Richard Armitage (Remember the actor who played as Thorin Oakenshield in Hobbit Series?) in the titular role, we follow in season one, 'Wolverine: The Long Night', two federal agents investigating a series of murders in the fictional town of Burns, Alaska. Logan aka Wolverine is the main suspect.
The series has a top class sound affects with a formulaic plot perfectly sandwiched by an eerie background music and wonderful voice performance. Now, season two, 'Wolverine: The Lost Trail' continues to entertain fans.