Turning Political Debates Into Podacsts?

Updated: May 5, 2020


- Non-partisan no nonsense: presidential debates should be hosted via podcasts

- Cut the biased news network circus act and allow candidates to discuss policy at length

- Adopt podcasts and have Joe Rogan moderate the 2020 presidential debate. Sign the petition with 112k+ americans here

Have you watched the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) with Bernie Sanders podcast? Popular podcast host, Joe Rogan, sat down with 2020 Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and delivered a 67 minute podcast talking everything from healthcare and gun control to immigration and social media. It became apparent to many Americans something was uniquely enjoyable, or at least different, about this conversation. Joe Rogan’s podcast introduced a new medium to the 2020 presidential election: podcasts. Let’s look at the numbers and arguments why podcasting is preferable to our beloved democracy compared to private television networks.

9.1mm viewers witnessed the Bernie Sanders podcast on Youtube alone this month compared to the 15.3mm viewers who tuned into the first 2020 Democratic Debate hosted by NBCUniversal networks. The reach of JRE’s podcast surprised me; although less viewed than NBC’s televised debates, the 9.1mm viewers are impressive considering the relative infancy of Rogan’s podcast and fractional advertising budget. So how does one personality like Joe Rogan go toe-to-toe with media megalodon NBC Universal hosting political candidate discussions? It’s simple.. JRE is doing something DIFFERENT. Not only different, but the podcasting medium certainly begs the question: “can’t someone do better than what we have now?” Here’s why podcasting is the preferential medium...

Complete conversation, not combative comments. In a comfortable setting without the network television hooplah, Bernie and Joe were able to hold a complete conversation. It was incredibly refreshing for the american voter to hear complete thoughts and researched positions, rather than timed debate trigger-word tangants.

Commercial breaks. Podcasts are transforming traditional news media because they eliminate traditional advertisements and incentivize quality content over quantity littered with disingenuous ads. Gimlet (top podcasting agency) cofounder and president Matthew Lieber explains high quality podcasts create sustainable ad revenue because the advertisements are integrated as part of the entertainment. Advertisements are used more sparingly and read at the beginning of the show, much like a boxing match, rather than littered every 7.5 minutes.

Access to information. Listen on apple podcasts or watch on Youtube completely free and replay at any time. The most amazing pro of podcasting is the ease of creating, broadcasting, and consuming the message at hand. Personally, important issues such as our political debates should be free and accessible to all voters. Many more Americans have access to the internet and Youtube than they do cable subscriptions. Finally, podcasting, as a medium, has huge growth potential. “According to a March 2017 report by Edison Research and Triton Digital, the percent of population that listens to podcasts nearly doubled (8% to 15%) from 2014 to 2017. And there's plenty of room for more growth because, according to NPR, about half the potential audience doesn't even know that podcasts exist”.

What can you do? Sign and Share. There is a live petition (ironically found on NBC Bay Area) calling for Joe Rogan to host the 2020 Presidential Debates. Over 112k signatures have been collected this month. Is this enough to get Joe Rogan in front of the political pundits? (not yet). However, it does make one raise an eyebrow at the significant viewership and activist footprint surrounding the new podcasting medium.

Download the free Apple podcasts app and share a podcast with someone new today. Support the propulsion of a beneficial social medium and action the change you wish to see! Feel free to direct any comments @ me; mike.wavemedia@gmail.com