Covering disruptive stories
By next year, the podcast industry is expected to generate more than $1 billion, according to a recent report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The future is digital storytelling, it seems.
There seemed to be a podcast for everything in 2019: from podcasts dedicated to stopping bugs from “bugging” people, to sisters reading and rereading the Harry Potter series, to Brits reading porn on air, to podcasts focused on amateur dental hacks.
With more than 700,000 podcasts available on the market today, offering more than 29 million episodes altogether, it’s no wonder podcasts are making a serious impact on popular culture, shedding light on all things from veganism, to the plight of refugees, the experiences of women in the workplace and more recently, new insight into gay culture.
In the case of the Shame On You Podcast, it’s the latter, specifically.
Produced by two thirty-something sex-positive Canadians who are also best friends, and self-described as “Our unapologetic guide to zero f**ks”, the Shame On You Podcast has been downloaded one million times already in less than a year, and is garnering a following worldwide - from the U.A.E, to New York City.
So much so that a tour is on the horizon, in fact. But going back a step: the podcast itself. It’s all about the lives - and journeys to homosexuality - of Toronto-based Brad Price and Jordan Power, who for the majority of their lives have struggled with the shame attached to the notion of “coming out” to one’s friends and family.
It’s a tough world, that which gay people find themselves in. And this Toronto duo have had enough. They are addressing the shame, one episode at a time.
The pair launched the podcast in March last year and have already released more than 50 episodes, featuring guest interviews with a porn star, an ex-boyfriend, a gay priest and a therapist among others.
Lighthearted, open and honest about their plight on air, the pair are committed to making Shame On You Podcast a space where they can - for the very first time - rid themselves of the shame they have always felt over being honest with others about their experiences.
Rather, the podcast is 100 per cent dedicated to sharing their humorous stories and discussing in detail each and every previously hidden aspect of their romantic lives.
“I think the podcast is the ultimate antidote to every message that we've received our entire lives that says, 'There's something wrong with you. You're a broken person,'” Jordan told CBC in an interview.
“We are saying, 'We're not ashamed of the people we are.' I made a ton of mistakes in my life. I regret a lot of things, but I don't have shame about them,” his friend and co-host Brad added.
Described as “absolutely shameless, unapologetic, uncensored, sincere, honest and lovable” by fans, the episodes cover all aspects of gay life, from sex to unrequited love, to penis envy and gay couples therapy, leaving no stone unturned and paving the way for gay communities around the world to stand up and fight against stereotyping and “gay shaming”.
The Shame On You Podcast is just one of many new podcasts dedicated to ‘consciousness raising’ or raising awareness of a typically unspoken aspect of society.
Spend a little time digging and you’ll find podcasts like “Ear Hustle,” a collaboration between two inmates at San Quentin State Prison focused on domestic life in prison.
Or Uncivil, which revisits the lesser-known stories about the Civil War, exploring chapters of history that are still today likely unknown. There are podcasts dedicated to exploring the new “fake meat” industry and the growing sustainability problems our world is facing, the fascinating world of pyramid schemes, and how the brain works.
Podcasts are readily available chunks of incredibly interesting content, are typically bite-sized, and are accessible to any person with a smartphone. Given there are 3.5 billion smartphone owners in the world today, it’s no wonder podcasting has been on a steady rise since 2006.
According to Edison Research, podcasting has grown by a whopping 300% since 2006 - and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. What this means is that the culture of podcasting (because it has at last been acknowledged that we need to begin referring to podcasts as a culture in itself) has become so powerful that with one idea, an entire culture of thought can now be dismantled.
It’s an extremely exciting time to be alive, isn’t it?