More Americans are watching morning talk shows and listening to podcasts

While your mom’s obsession with true-crime podcasts such as Serial may seem like just another fad, it’s actually part of a larger trend in the media industry, according to a report published Friday.

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The Pew Research Center’s annual State of the News Media report shows more Americans are watching Sunday morning political talk shows and listening to podcasts now than in previous years. Between 2015 and 2016, viewership of the Sunday programs rose by about 14 percent, while the number of people who listen to podcasts monthly has grown by approximately 15 percent since 2008.

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

And — despite the rise cord-cutters — viewership for NBC, ABC and CBS morning and evening newscasts has remained relatively stable, as has the audience for traditional radio. According to the Pew report, which included metrics compiled by Nielsen Media Research and published by the Radio Advertising Bureau, 91 percent of Americans ages 12 or older listened to AM/FM radio in any given week in 2016.

Meanwhile, there has been a substantial growth in the audience for internet radio, especially in cars. The Pew report found that in 2017, 40 percent of American cellphone users have used their devices to listen to online radio in the car using a phone. In 2010, that number was only 6 percent. At the same time, monthly listeners of online radio itself has grown by 4 percent in the past year alone.

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

TV and radio news executives, whose industries are facing significant disruption from digital upstarts, will likely be encouraged by this latest report. Steady and growing audiences are good selling points for major networks, especially as the rise of the Google-Facebook duopoly continues apace.

According to the Pew report, revenues for television stations have grown while radio stations have experienced relative financial stability. For NBC, ABC and CBS, advertising revenue estimates for evening news programs were up 12 percent in the first three quarters of 2016 from 2015, while the networks’ morning shows grew only about 3 percent in 2016 from 2015 in the period between January and September, according to Kantar Media.

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

Podcasts to Listen To: 4 music podcasts worth noting

Learn about the stories behind bands and songs with “Song Exploder,” “Switched on Pop,” “Juan Epstein” and “Whiskey Riff Raff.”

Whether you’re a fan of rock, rap, pop or country — or a mix of everything — there’s more to music than what meets the ears. Behind the beats are all kinds of interesting insights and stories about popular artists and current music culture.

Want to hear more? Then listen up — here are a few podcasts all about music.

“Song Exploder”: Ever wondered what a songwriter actually meant with his or her lyrics? “Song Exploder” gives you the direct answer. The podcast, hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway, features musicians dissecting songs piece-by-piece to give the full story of how they came to be and the hidden meanings they hold. Musical guests have included alt-J, Norah Jones, Dropkick Murphys, Metallica and many others. Find it:

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“Switched on Pop”: Musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding take a look behind the curtain of pop music and breakdown the formulas that make pop music, well, popular. Episodes include “The Puzzle of Ariana Grande’s ‘Into You’,” “Lady Gaga is a Perfect Illusion,” “When Good Music Happens to Bad People” and “The Dual Meaning of Fetty Wap’s ‘Trap Queen’.” Find it:

“Juan Epstein”: Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg host one of the longest running hip-hop podcasts around and interview some of the biggest names in the industry. This podcast dives deep into hip-hop culture with stars such as Jay-Z, Eminem, Ghostface and Redman. Find it:

“Whiskey Riff Raff”: Let’s not forget about country fans. “Whisky Riff Raff,” hosted by Steve Gazibara and Wes Langeler, discusses all that twang and everything that goes with it in each episodes. Topics include Country Concert Commandments, underrated artists, honesty in music and the continuing debate over what is “country.” Find it:

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Here are the top podcasts on iTunes as of June 13:

  1. “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law,” Roman Mars
  2. “30 For 30 Podcasts,” ESPN
  3. “Invisibilia,” NPR
  4. “S-Town,” Serial and This American Life
  5. “This American Life,” This American Life
  6. “The Daily,” The New York Times
  7. “Ear Hustle,” Radiotopia
  8. “TED Radio Hour,” NPR
  9. “Stuff You Should Know,” HowStuffWorks
  10. “Sworn,” Up and Vanished, Tenderfoot