The Great Podcast Timesink
I despise podcasts. They're radio without the basic discipline of time.
Instead of providing information with precision and brevity, they tend to drone on in free form -- as if listeners have the luxury of time (and nothing better to do or get on with). And if a listener indulges the speaker(s), gets to the end, and realizes he or she has wasted 30, 20, or even 10 minutes, resentment sets in... and makes the listener leery of the next podcast they come across.
A possible rationale
For people who commute in their cars, a podcast might make sense (or, based on too many I've sampled, create a traffic hazard by putting the driver to sleep). That's one of the reasons why drive-time radio includes so many shifts in sound and tempo, however annoying some of them may be. They bring the listener back from inattentiveness.
Then there are the "visuals." Radio, as any admirer of Stan Freberg will attest, can conjure some extremely vivid images. Yet podcasts tend to ignore any effort to draw pictures with words. Pity. It might actually make them more fun. And, no, jocular banter by the speakers isn't usually fun. It's the cool kids ignoring the rest of us.
Less really is more
My father was in radio, so I'm probably biased. Yet he could tell a story in a minute that takes podcasters ten.
The fact is that concision takes time. As Pascal said, "I'm sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn't have time to write a short one." In the case of podcasts, that means knowing exactly what you want to convey, scripting it if necessary (even with multiple speakers), and cutting out extranea after the recording's complete. Only the producer knows what's excised, but the listener will benefit from hearing just the parts that are essential.
Editors understand this, and I began my career as one, editing for Emmy-winning television shows. When I'd get to the point when I thought the cut was ready, I'd turn off the sound. If the story was still clear, I'd proceed to add the music and effects. If anything was muddled, I'd check to be sure that the voiceover made the sequence clear.
With audio-only, the challenge is greater. The sound alone must do all the work. And that means the production team must work to ensure that, as Saint-Exupéry put it, "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing left to take away."