The year 1969 gave us Woodstock, the Concorde, the Boeing 747, The Beatles’ last public performance, the Manson murders, the iconic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, the first man on the moon, Chappaquiddick and most importantly for this discussion the peak of daytime televised soap operas and the beginning of the move of women from the home into the workplace.
In 1969, there were 19 distinct daytime soap operas, the top show pulling 13.6 percent of the television audience. In 2018, with only four televised soaps remaining, the highest rated drama, The Young and the Restless, is just pulling .69 percent.
Is it because the viewer isn’t interested in drama?
The problem isn’t with interest. The problem is with time.
We just don’t have the time to slice out an hour of our day to sit and watch a daytime drama.
A 15- or 20-minute podcast soap opera will enable us to follow characters we care about. It will fill the time during a commute, while folding clothes, while performing “mindless” activities at work, sitting on the beach, sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, or at 3 am while quieting that fussy baby. This shorter length enabled by the podcast format is quick, entertaining, and is not constrained by a time slot or an hour-long commitment.
Audio drama is a growing genre.
In Sara Rhea Werner’s article “Let 2018 Be The Year You Discover Audio Drama” she points out that
- Audio drama is gaining a foothold evidenced by inclusion at podcasting conferences and the large and varied fans of audio drama represented at those conferences
- Audio dramas are free as opposed to Audible, Netflix, or Hulu.
- All genres of fiction are represented
- They are entertaining
- Good for passive consumption
Why podcast theater? Podcast dramas are an emerging medium that can be enjoyed even while being restless.