Podcasts: “Entertainment To Go” : A study on why Uppsala University students listen to podcast

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för informatik och media; Uppsala universitet/Medier och kommunikation

Abstract: The study aims to gain a deeper understanding of podcasts as a phenomenon. It specifically explores Uppsala University students and their podcast listening habits in an effort to gain understanding about why students listen to podcasts, if there are particular genres students are drawn to and why students believe podcasts are successful.  Uses and gratifications theory (UGT) was mainly used and research specifically related to the theory. Other theories used are Jenkins’ work on convergence culture (2006), Ott and Mack’s work on media and mobility (2014) and Lillieham’s work on listening behavior (2006). The material that has been gathered was through qualitative and quantitative research methods based on focus groups and an online survey.  The findings indicate that (1) students’ primary motivations for listening to podcasts are: to be informed and entertained, to distract whilst multitasking and as a form of company; (2) students listened to similar podcasts, the most popular being Sweden’s P3 Dokumentär; and (3) students created emotional connections with podcast hosts. An online survey was also conducted which outlined what factors make a podcast interesting to listen to, for example: 46.5% of respondents listened to episodes that were an hour or longer, and comedy was the most popular genre (with 60 votes). Based on the findings, a combination of current technology, type of podcast and the uses and gratifications obtained from listening contribute to understanding why students listen to podcasts as well as why they believe podcasts are popular in general.

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