As great as television has become in the 21st Century, podcasts are even greater. The wealth of insight available through podcasts is staggering.
My suspicion is that this is largely due to the medium’s low production overhead, which enables individuals to work relatively quickly and spontaneously (thanks to advancements in sound recording technologies and user interface design) alone or in small teams (also thanks to tech/UI) — the most fertile conditions for creation and to be able to reach a large audience without the need to persuade media distribution gatekeepers that their content will appeal to their target audience — a soul-killing endeavor that often fails, resulting in filtering, dilution and conservative punch-pulling of the most novel, risky and exciting experiments.
1) Good tools — light, transparent, activity-supporting — enabling users to focus exclusively on the creative object, 2) liberation from the need to enlist extended technical teams, with all the attendant money and management burdens, 3) cheap or free distribution of the creative product, 4) access to a market of consumers who become the arbiters of success, and 5) removal of approval gates (and gate-keeping mindsets) that come with all expensive endeavors — all these things support the takeover of industries by people with ideas and creative talent from the domination of technical, managerial and financial considerations.
In other words, the best creative products result from maximizing investment in design minimizing the overhead of management, engineering, finance, logistics, sales and marketing.
(When software development finally passes an analogous threshold, and software can be produced by designers focused exclusively on how people interact with what they’re making, we will have far better lean methodology for producing software.)