Share with friends

Over the last decade, the DIY podcasting approach has resulted in new entertainers making colossal money via YouTube and Spotify. Prior to the internet, comedians in the entertainment industry relied on a limited number of avenues, usually controlled by prominent agencies and corporations. If an entertainer or celebrity wished to boost their profile, they would aim to get on a big talk show in the UK or US to get their name and face out there. 

Unless they could get a lucrative spot on a sketch show like Saturday Night Live or have their own sitcom commissioned, it was a treacherous road for many. Many comedians and entertainers were all vying for a finite number of spaces in the industry. Nowadays, although chat shows are still a big medium, some podcasts have a bigger reach and viewership than entire nations—and some celebrities have been able to springboard or rejuvenate their careers just by showing up for a podcast recording.

Whatever you think of the rise of podcasts, there’s no disputing that they are here to stay. We may have used comedians as one example. Still, podcasts as a form of entertainment have exploded—whether it’s true crime, music, sports, documentaries, gambling and casino gaming, or a dozen other topics.

What Is Fuelling The Podcast Boom?

Podcasts can be traced back to the mid-2000s when Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington made their podcast available for download. It kickstarted the current epidemic of podcasts we see today. While the likes of the Joe Rogan Experience have gone into another stratosphere of podcast popularity – the three UK comedians who went on to create the hit show An Idiot Abroad are widely recognized as the starting point for the current landscape. 

This podcast propelled Karl Pilkington to fame in the UK. It was the first example of how the DIY podcast approach can create organic and authentic celebrity entertainers whom people are drawn to, even without the whole PR management that often comes with managing a celebrity’s road to superstardom. 

Entertainment is dominated by the internet, whether we are streaming our favorite shows or playing casino games. Gambling online and playing casino games have created a new avenue of niche gaming, adding a new dimension to pre-existing casino games and bringing in a new audience who wish to gamble online. While it might seem that roulette, blackjack, and slots are a far cry from podcasting, they’ve both leveraged the digital, global market to create highly inventive and more convenient, specific ways to grow their respective industries.

Celebrity Examples Of Viral Pods

We are living through a golden age of podcasts, with some of them even selling out stadium tours – remarkably. Nobody knows when or if this bubble will burst, but they’ve been able to harness hyper-specific topics and bring on celebrities who have been able to appeal directly to their target market. Earlier this year, comedian Katt Williams was able to rocket himself back into pop culture with a podcast appearance that amassed nearly 40 million views in 5 days. It’s one of the best examples to date of how a big podcast appearance can galvanize a career.

While new shows have declined significantly over the last 12 months, the sheer volume of podcasts has meant that the number of new ideas was bound to plateau at some point. Unless you subscribe to a Patreon page or exclusive content, a podcast is usually cheaper than other avenues of entertainment.

Joe Rogan signed a deal worth a staggering $250 million—which shows just how phenomenal the audience is for the highest-rated podcasts—and he’s had a number of high-profile celebrities on his podcast who have been able to catapult themselves into meme culture, such as comedian Theo Von and South African billionaire Elon Musk. The latter might be a bad example, given that Tesla stock plummeted 9% following his appearance on the show. 

Podcasts can provide very specific types of content and entertainment, which has been the underlying positive that has driven so much success in the industry. This allows them to appeal directly to those who will listen rather than taking a generalized approach. 

Final Say

Streaming platforms have created a huge surge in the number of celebrities who have no longer gone down traditional routes. Jake Paul, a YouTuber, is fighting Mike Tyson on Netflix just to add an additional bit of weight to this argument. Impulsive, a podcast run by Jake’s brother Logan, has been used as a springboard for comedians to find a market and has over 4.5 million subscribers as of May 2024. 

Katt Williams’s new Netflix special follows a career-saving podcast performance. In it, he was given three hours to rifle off a wide range of bizarre, half-cut, pseudo-intellectual quotes and found himself hailed as a modern-day Plato. 

He’s not the first celebrity to benefit from a podcast-based revival, nor will he be the last. In truth, Karl Pillkington’s entire career stemmed from podcasts in 2005. So, the formula has always been there—it just takes the right celebrity and podcast to use it properly. 

Share with friends