A Senior-Friendly Guide to Podcasts

These digital shows, which are released online and through apps, range in topic, style and format. Some are scripted shows that feel like you’re listening to a soap opera. Some are news-based programs that highlight current events. Some are hosted by celebrities who invite a new guest each episode. There are comedic podcasts, crime podcasts, health podcasts and even therapy podcasts. 

There are an endless amount of podcasts available for your listening pleasure, and you’re sure to find one that speaks to your interests. Even though the platform might be unfamiliar, there’s a lot to love about podcasts. They’re entertaining, informative, funny and enlightening. Before you can put on your headphones and start listening, here’s what you need to know about getting into podcasts as a senior.

There Are Multiple Streaming Platforms

If you want to listen to a podcast, the first thing you need to know is where to find them. Some podcasts, like Armchair Expert and all NPR podcasts, have dedicated websites where you can tune in right from the web. Other podcasts are featured on third-party platforms and apps like Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts and Apple Podcasts

Podcasts Are Generally Free

Some platforms allow you to download podcasts to your listening device in addition to streaming through the app. In general, podcasts are free to listen to, while some come with a paywall, for example, if you’re listening to a Patreon exclusive podcast. Use of some platforms, like Pocket Casts, requires a monthly payment. In other cases, you might have to pay for an upgraded subscription of a platform if you want certain features, but the introductory version of a platform like Overcast will still allow you to listen to podcasts for free. 

How You Listen Is Up to You

You can listen to podcasts on a variety of devices: your smartphone, your computer, your tablet or a smart home speaker like the Echo Dot or Google Assistant. You can even switch from one device to another. If you start listening to a podcast at home on the computer, you can switch over to your phone if you decide to go out for a walk. You just need to be logged in with the same user account on each device. Keep in mind that some podcast platforms aren’t available on certain devices. For example, if you have an Android phone, you won’t be able to listen to podcasts on the Apple Podcasts app.

You Can Listen to Podcasts Whenever You Want

Long gone are the days of rushing to tune in to a show right when it airs. With podcasts, all episodes are saved to the platform so you can go back and listen at your leisure. Different podcasts are released at different times, days and frequencies — some drop daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly — so it’s best to find out when your favorite show releases new episodes. If you’re a latecomer to a specific podcast, don’t worry. You can often scroll back into the archives to catch up.

Podcasts are a great way to stay entertained and informed, especially while you’re doing other things. Just press play on an episode and you can cook, clean, garden or exercise. You’ll enjoy the variety of shows all while taking advantage of the flexibility of listening at your own pace. 

Want some podcast recommendations to start? Check out 9 Podcasts for Seniors with Curious Minds and 11 Amazing Podcasts for Seniors. Happy listening! 

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